This sounds like a child on a long trip who constantly asks, “Are we there yet?”, “How much longer?” or “How many more miles?” It might also sound like a group of students who are approaching the end of the semester or maybe even graduation. I can relate so well to this.

I know the next six weeks will fly by, but they seem like there are so many projects, assignments, tests and hurdles to jump through to get there. I have had to take this semester one week at a time like I have in previous semesters. There is so much to do in this, my final semester.

Enjoy the time you have with your classmates for these last weeks. Many of us have made some good friendships along the way. These are friends that we may have cried, laughed, complained and studied with. They have seen us through vulnerable moments. I urge you to cling to these moments for very soon we will be parting ways. Hopefully we can hang onto these friendships.

Enjoy the sunshine and warmer weather for moments as they will lift our spirits and give some hope that summer is coming. It will be here before we know it; hang in there.

~Katie

I’ve grown up going to church and being active in some way like Sunday school, choir, acolyte, and deacon. Then, like most families nowadays, my parents divorced when I was an adolescent. The divorce greatly influenced and challenged my faith. I visited and tried out different churches with my family. I will admit that I was scared of some churches and “speaking in tongues.” As a poor way of coping with this fear I developed intolerance and thought almost any other church as better, so to speak.

I surprised myself lately. I work as a nurse’s aide at a local nursing home. I was about to provide bedtime care for a resident when a co-worker knocked and politely interrupted me, needing help. After excusing myself, I joined him: a resident was about to receive a full-submersion baptism. She was dying and told her family the day before that she wanted a full-submersion baptism.

I witnessed full-submersion baptism before in a church, not in a long-term care facility. The different environment, being in a different role, witnessing and assisting with a baptism was an honor. The patient’s family “speaking in tongues” during the baptism didn’t bother me. Working in the profession and being a nursing student, I’ve definitely learned humility and constantly building tolerance and acceptance. Just when I think I’m a completely accepting, I stumble, fall, pick myself up, and become a stronger person. This realization has helped me with work, school, and relations.

~Amy

It’s 2:15am and howling outside.  I’m all cozied up in my flannel pajamas with my space heater on and my doggie, Katie, a miniature Schnauzer, cuddled by my side.  Yes, nursing information is going through my head like a broken record.  After all, it is finals week.  At the same time I think about going to open lab, reviewing notes, using flash cards and picking up extra hours at work over Christmas break.  Hmmm.  Not much of one.  At least I will have Christmas Eve and day off from work that I can reserve for myself and family. 

Holiday stressors and finals’ stressors are amplified by the days growing shorter, bone-freezing wind/coldness, less sun, and cloudy skies.  I’ve been feeling gloomy and see it in my patients (at work at the nursing home), too.  I found comfort lately listening to relentless Christmas songs, seeing Christmas lights in my travels, smelling holiday treats, and sitting by a fireplace.  Recently I started more positive self-talk.  Instead of “What did I get myself into!”  I say “I’m doing it and I’ll do what it takes!”  Instead of telling myself “This is so much information.  How am I supposed to study?”  I say “This is how is need to break up the information…  This is how I’m going to study.”  Instead of “I can’t” I tell myself “I wil.”  I may not be Einstein but I’m not dumb either.  I know all this sounds trite but what helps, helps.  It’s a sarcastic world but in the nursing field, I find passion.  Not just having passion on others but finding it for myself as well.  Even when it’s dark, like these wintry days, I try to lite a light within myself and not let anybody, including me, blow it out.
 
Sincerely,

Amy

In nursing school we learn to work with different colleagues from departments such as physical therapy, the dietician, the doctor, radiology, etc… From experiences in my current workplace, I can’t emphasize enough how important team work is. I am a nurse aide and often work on a skilled nursing unit. I am a team member who helps to provide patient care. Other members of my team are the nurse, the respiratory therapist, physical therapist, dietary aide, transport aide and doctor. The list goes on.

I am often very disheartened at how my team doesn’t work together. Aides don’t help each other sometimes. The patient may have a need and someone makes them wait because it is “not their job” to do what the patient needs. Recently I had to wait to go to lunch because a patient who is in the dying process needed extra care and I was in no way going to rush the patient. When I was through I talked to the aide who was to go to lunch after me to tell her I was behind. She was so bent out of shape that I was behind that she refused to bend and would rather leave the floor short staffed than go to lunch late. On the inside I was thinking, “This is healthcare and patients’ needs come first.”  The thing that irritates me the most is when a nurse gets upset and yells at a nurse aide. All I can think of in that instance is that I perceive myself to be a future nurse, a colleague of current nurses. Nurses are in a position of authority over nurse aides, but it doesn’t mean the nurse can belittle or treat the nurse aide with disrespect. When I see a mistake made, I tend to consider it an opportunity for education, not an opportunity to make someone feel bad about themselves. Yes, we have to own up to our mistakes and try to prevent them, but yelling at another staff member is unacceptable… If we want to help patients, we need to help each other.

Here a few quotes from some successful people about teamwork…

The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual. ~Vince Lombardi

Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results. ~Andrew Carnegie

~Katie

Nursing school has changed me in many ways and I will never regret the decision to become a nurse. I will never question my choice to come to Aultman College. Yes it has been tough. Many stressful moments and nail-biting tests caused me to feel overwhelmed and out of control. Other moments when I aced a test helped me feel ok; I can do this. I was blessed to meet some extraordinary people along this journey.

How have I changed? I am a leader. I am not afraid to approach a patient. I can even approach a patient who might hurt me because I know if they were healthy, they wouldn’t want to hurt me. (I use caution of course.) I have done things that many people think are gross. I look at my job as doing for someone what they would do for themselves if they could. I love being the person who can make a difference. I believe that I can make a difference one patient at a time. I have grown! I used to look up to doctors and admire nurses because they knew how to do the stuff that only they can do. I used to be impressed that nurses could make a dressing look so neat and clean. Now I am someone who can do that.

On any given day I may not love my job or what I am doing, but I love who I’ve become. I am a thinker and I love that I have been given the critical thinking skills and confidence to use my judgment to come up with an answer.

Looking forward…

I hope I increase my knowledge everyday and never lose sight of what it is like to be a new nurse. I care about what I do and never want to stop caring. I never want a patient to be a number or a paycheck. I hope I can rub off on some people and help them to realize they can make a difference too.

~Katie

Our new academic year has been off to a great start! We welcomed more than 80 new incoming students in August, elected 25 new student senators in September and now getting ready to send 10 students to the Ohio Nursing Student Association convention in October. What a great semester so far!

I hope you are continuing to enjoy the blog – we now have two student bloggers. Katie and Amy will provide you insight into the life of a student. We are always looking to showcase other students – so if you would like to be a blogger, please contact the Student Life office!

Keep up to date with all our event information on our Facebook page also!

Keep Involved,

Brittany – Student Life Coordinator

My sister and I are going to participate in the “Strides Against Breast Cancer” walk on Sunday, October 19th @ 9am.  I am looking forward to it.  My grandmother had breast cancer and survived.  Just as human beings, not just nursing students, we all seem to be affected by it some way: screenings, self-tests, knowing someone, or caring for someone who has breast cancer.  Will you join me and others to raise the awareness at McKinley High School?  The walk itself is 3.1 miles.  The whole process of registering and walking takes about two hours.  It’s a great opportunity to get to know each other and talk about other things besides classes!  Bring your family.  Enjoy the fresh air.  I’ll see you at McKinley High Schol at 9am.
 ~ Amy

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