Clinical Experience

This semester, for MedSurg I clinical, I was placed at 6 Ross where I was able to work with heart failure patients. I definitely had a good experience and my instructor was very helpful in wanting to see me succeed. I think with my background already working as an STNA, I had a good grasp on the expectations and I was already comfortable communicating with different types of patients. It is definitely different when making up a patient to talk to rather than experiencing a real patient because, to me, it comes more natural when talking to a patient with real problems and real responses to what I am doing and saying. I liked being able to take everything I learned last semester and new skills from this semester and putting them into action where I could practice and have instant feedback from my patient and instructor in the real clinical setting.

I think compared to the beginning of the semester, I improved in my confidence. I came in with communication and task confidence as an STNA, but having confidence as a student nurse is different, especially when the patients know that you are new and do not know what you are doing. I think I learned a great deal of knowledge, mainly on medications and plans of care. I knew how to do basic cares of patients, but full assessments and relating patient history to current diagnosis was a new concept to me and I am glad I was able to work with cardiac patients where I was getting an extra type of experience, not just medsurg but cardiac medsurg because these patients had common diseases we will see everyday along with their heart issues. I think it was an enjoyable, yet challenging, semester full of learning new skills, medications, and thought processes where I actually felt a step closer to becoming a nurse.

My area to grow would be just to continue with getting experience to master my knowledge and confidence with my thought processes. Repetitively working with certain types of cases and getting used to signs/symptoms and plans of care will help with my confidence on what I should be doing or doing next to help my patients. I do try to put things together when I work as an STNA to continue my progression because these will be simple orders and tasks I will need to always know as a nurse. I hope I have just as much progression and liking of my duties next semester in OB and Peds because I enjoyed the challenge and constant learning everyday.

Healthcare Communication

I watch numerous drama TV shows set in the medical field like Grey’s Anatomy and The Good Doctor. Currently on Grey’s, Dr. DeLuca has been very emotional and not getting enough sleep, so he has not been in the right state of mind to be dealing with patients or working with his peers. He has made inappropriate outbursts towards other doctors and in front of patients. He also has been getting too attached to his cases and just needs to take a step back to gather himself and rest up before he makes any major mistakes or killing a patient. Along with communication issues in the working environment, it is also very important for a medical professional to take care of themselves, physically and mentally; otherwise, it can affect the patient’s outcome and prevent growth within the facility.

I really enjoy The Good Doctor being based around an autistic doctor because it allows society to see that a disability does not have to stop someone from doing a good job in life, especially when taking care of other people’s lives. When Shaun Murphy was trying to begin his work at his current hospital, the biggest discrepancy was his inability to communicate with anyone because they knew that communication is such a large part of being a healthcare professional. Like a lot of autistic people, he has had to learn how to not be so blunt and forward with patients and how to be sympathetic during emotional situations. I find him very funny, but people like him are why I want to become a psychiatrist, to be able to help people do the best they can and be comfortable. Shaun also does not know how to deal with stress in an appropriate way and that can be difficult to not only him, but his surrounding peers. He is definitely a different type of person, but that does not mean he cannot learn what is socially acceptable.

In class we have learned that it is important to be an active therapeutic listener for our patients and I think I do a pretty good job at making my patients feel stress free and comfortable. For some people, communication comes naturally, but everyone always has something to improve on to make a better experience for patients and visitors. I think it honestly just takes experience to be comfortable with different types of communication, but you cannot be a shy person or afraid to adapt to your surroundings because you will be challenged with multiple different types of communication scenarios. From translation needed to handling a hostile conversation, it is hard to work your brain to think instantly about an appropriate reaction. Overall, I think this communications class and experience in clinical has helped a lot of us understand how hard the real world of nursing is and how much practice it will take for us to be the best we can be once becoming a nurse.

Clinical Reflection

So far this semester, I think I have done a great job adjusting to my surroundings in a new hospital and new types of patients, but I think my biggest communication challenge has been with my nurse and the rest of the staff because I feel out of place at a hospital that I am not used to. Even though I love the environment, it is still hard to get to know the staff and ask them questions when you are not there all the time, but they are surrounded by students all the time, which I am sure gets annoying on the job and can make me uncomfortable because I do not want to bother them. The patients are not too difficult to communicate with because I am used to working on a medsurg floor, but not specifically a cardiac medsurg floor, so instead of me teaching the patients something new, I am constantly learning from the patients about new cardiac terms and techniques. I think I do a very good job communicating with my patients, even when I do not know what to do, I still figure it out in the heat of the moment to make their experience with me trustworthy. I can honestly say at the hospital I normally work at, I am very open with the staff and patients and I am confident in my decisions as a PCA, especially to ask nurses questions that can help me in school.

I would say I contribute to my challenge because I do not speak up when I should, but to me I like to keep my mouth shut and just watch when I am not comfortable with my surroundings and I know I am at the bottom of the totem pole. I could overcome this by just asking my nurse and PCA questions when I do not know, but it takes time to be comfortable with what is going on and who you are looking up to. I know they are used to helping us because it is a teaching hospital, but I know what it is like to catch someone at a bad time and they give an attitude because they are tired or frustrated or overwhelmed and the last thing they need is a student asking them more questions that I can find out from a chart or on the computer. I think I will be more comfortable talking when I am more comfortable with what I am supposed to be doing on the floor by myself, but for right now I ask my instructor many questions because I am used to her personality and I know she is specifically there for me and the other students.

With this being our actual first semester in the hospital, there a lot of emotions going on in my head, but I feel confident in myself and how I interact with my patients because they are just normal people that need your help. It’s basically a safe place to carry on a conversation with a stranger while knowing that they need your help and are already trusting you with their life. It’s crazy that a lot of patients come in and just know that you are wanting to help make them feel better and that you will be there for them (that’s a lot of trust in a stranger), but that is why I chose the job to help put a smile on someone’s face and it feels even better when they are appreciative of everything we do for them.

Public Communication

Today I spent the afternoon at a restaurant with my husband, so that I didn’t feel awkward sitting by myself trying to observe other people. Some things I noticed about the ways others were communicating with each other were relationships that would not even talk because they were so drawn to their technology that they could not carry on a conversation. Technology is taking over the minds of the younger generations, causing them to not know how to communicate. My husband knows that when we are out on a date that our phones are not as important as each other and it forces us to talk to each other when we put them away. Growing up, my parents didn’t even allow phones at the table and now I understand why. Also, I noticed that if it wasn’t both individuals focused on their phone, then it was one and the other person looked lonely because they were not receiving any attention. I am glad that I was raised a certain way to still understand tradition and how it used to be “back then” because I appreciate what I have and most people now just take everything for granted and can’t use any manners and I just feel good that I’m a respectful person compared to most.

As far as the people who communicated verbally, they were joyful to observe because of the facial expressions they were using. I may not have known what they were talking about, but that’s what makes observing even more interesting. There were also people who you could see on their face that they were just not interested in what was going on and I think facial expressions and gestures are the biggest thing when communicating with our patients and I know 110% that I am someone that has to watch my face because I wear my emotions without even realizing it. Recently, I was dealing with a patient towards the end of my 12 hour shift, so I was tired and annoyed and just ready to go and the patient asked me if I ever smile because I was just keeping a straight face because I didn’t want them to know that I was annoyed, but it was like I couldn’t win. I have been told many times to watch my face and I thought maybe keeping a poker face would be okay, but I guess not to patients. They want all smiles or nothing.

When looking between the younger age on their technology, I also noticed the older generations who wouldn’t even talk, but just enjoyed each other’s company and I think that is something to cherish because no one is guaranteed another day and you should spend the time together happy as possible. Communication is such an important topic and I really liked this exercise because I was able to stop and watch how others interact and compare it to what I should and shouldn’t be doing with my patients. Hopefully more people will eventually realize that face to face communication is the best form of medicine.


Hello, my name is Alison Heiser and I am a 1st year junior in the Ohio State Nursing program. I currently work in our local hospital as an STNA, but I make sure to pay attention, so I have even more experience for school. My ultimate goal after graduating with my BSN is to go on to medical school and become a Psychiatrist. Being a doctor that studies the mind and helps people mentally, especially during episodes, is something I know I am good at. Even though I barely know what is going on in my head, I like to know how the brain works and why people think the way that they do. I also really like to help developmentally challenged kids because it makes me smile when I see them so happy. I love having a bond with autistic kids because they are so special and enjoyable to be around. Psychology has always been a huge knack of mine, but talk therapy was just not enough for me, so I decided I want to go all 8 years of school to do my dream job.

Of course I chose Ohio State because I have always wanted to be a buckeye, but I decided to go the nursing route instead of psychology because I think everyone should have a medical background of some sort. I have always been around the medical field growing up, due to my family medical history, I just did not know what I wanted to do. After switching my mind around multiple times, I realized I liked to help people no matter what, so why not pick the broadest spectrum? I can have a great job as a nurse while in medical school and they are skills I can carry with me the rest of my life. Since working in a hospital and going to nursing school, I have noticed that nursing is not an easy job, but I like challenges and I never give up because unfortunately, I am an over achiever and perfectionist. I am so excited to go on this pathway for my life, but I am also impatient and I am just ready to fast forward a little bit into the future.

My background begins in western Ohio in a small town of about 8,000 people called Saint Marys, Ohio. I lived there with the rest of my family for the first 18 years of my life. My husband and I, of 2 years, are high school sweethearts and when he joined the military, it moved us to Mansfield in central Ohio in 2018 and we just bought our first house there in Galion, Ohio in 2019. We have 2 dogs in our 3 bedroom house, a 2 year old golden doodle named Ollie and a 1 year old bulldog/beagle mix named Bruno. I had never been an animal person (still not really) until I found Bruno and he makes me feel all the emotions (haha). He can be annoying and does not listen or rambunctious, but he can also be sweet and happy while being funny and playful. He is basically me in dog form!

In my free time (if I get any), I like to do puzzles and spend time playing games with my husband. We are both very competitive, so it makes a lot of smiles and laughter. I honestly love going to school even if it stresses me out to the max because I like going and learning something new everyday. Maybe some day I will be ready to work all the time, but as of now, I like my schedule. One day I also hope to have kids, but we would prefer to wait until I am completely done with school or maybe even just the first degree. Everyday I pray that we continue on this fun and adventurous path because we have accomplished so much in 3 years and I cannot wait to see how successful we are with all our hopes and dreams accomplished. My favorite saying is “everything happens for a reason” because I know it’s not my plan, it’s God’s plan for me.