The main purpose of my STEP Signature Project was to immerse myself in a hospital setting in order to prepare myself for my future education and career in nursing. I used my funding to take a State Certified Nurse Aid class over the past summer. This gave me the certification to work for and get a job in the hospital during the school year. I obtained a job at the Ohio State University Brain and Spine Hospital as a student intern. From this experience, I was able to get my feet wet in the hospital and learn a little bit more about working along side nurses and doctors.
From my time in the hospital, I have learned a lot more about myself and have built confidence in my ability to become a successful nurse. Before I had started, I was admittedly very nervous about working with actual patients and I felt anxious that I would make a mistake with a patient. At times, I very seriously doubted my ability to become a well-spoken and intelligent nurse. Before my time at the hospital, I was not sure if I had even chosen the right major for myself.
However, working in the hospital setting has made me more comfortable with my choice in becoming a nurse. I was able to work with other Student Nurse Aids and Patient Care Assistants as well as nurses. Overall, the experience allowed me to see what a daily day of a nurse would be like and made me much more excited for my future career.
There were a few scenarios in my time at the hospital that gave me insight to multiple aspects of the life of a nurse. One extremely important part of nursing is charting the data of each patient that you care for. This is very important for the health and safety of the patient, but it also important to record each task you do in order to keep track for liability issues. Hence, IHIS, which is the main program that is used within hospitals to track patients and scheduling, it an important tool to become accustomed to. During my time in the hospital, I was taught how to track everything in IHIS and this gave me the chance to become familiar with the program that I will be using every day in my future career.
Alongside using IHIS, I was able to communicate and speak with many nurses each day at work. This gave me the chance to learn a lot about what their lives are like and also hear interesting stories of things that had happened in the hospital. I also learned that a very important part of becoming a successful nurse is learning how to multitask and most importantly, learn how to properly communicate. Communicating is very important because it is crucial to translating messages about the patient and what still needs to happen in order to create the best care for a patient.
While most of my work at the hospital was desk work and organizing, I also started to get familiar with and train with the SNA and PCA workers. I helped to transport patients and move them from the recovery to room to the Post-Care floor. This helped my confidence in speaking to patients and gave me the opportunity to learn how to properly talk with both doctors and patients during their time in the hospital.
Overall, my time at the hospital was very important and has significantly changed my viewpoint on my undergraduate major. Being able to get involved in the hospital has given me a lot of confidence and has made me less nervous for my clinical rounds this semester. I am excited to get started with my career as a nurse and this STEP signature project has instilled in me the self-assurance that I am on the right career path and will, one day, be a successful nurse.