Lydia Deppert STEP Project Reflection

Lydia Deppert

Type of Project: Internship

  1. Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. Write two or three sentences describing the main activities your STEP Signature Project entailed.


My STEP Signature Project was to become STNA certified through Alia HealthCare in Columbus, Ohio so that I could gain experience and expertise in order for me to get an internship at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. My internship is to work as a Patient Care Associate in the UH/Ross Float Pool where I work with patients in the medical/surgical unit as well as the Ross Heart Hospital. In my internship, I spend a lot of time with patients who are dealing with mental illnesses and I help with their daily cares as required by the nursing staff. In my project, I was required to gain an internship where I would be using the STNA skills I have acquired and work 20-40 hours per week for 6 weeks. I currently work 24 hours a week and have worked 24 hours each week since July 23, 2018. By the end of my project, I had completed not only 6 weeks, but 9 weeks in my internship. That is a total of 216 hours of direct patient care experience and learning about who I am in the medical world.


  1. What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project? Write one or two paragraphs to describe the change or transformation that took place.


The understanding I had of myself was transformed through this project by finally realizing how important it is to reach out to others when I need help. Taking on this internship was really challenging for me because it is so much more advanced than anything I have ever done before because I am actually taking care of my own patients now. Before, this job, I was very much stuck in my own comfort zone and I wasn’t really good about asking for help because I didn’t think I needed it. My view on that was completely when I realized that the work I am now doing can potentially save someone’s life. Even though there have been some difficult days with patients, I love this internship and all the things I am learning from it. My view on the world has drastically changed and I have learned to listen to people instead of automatically make assumptions.

I learned a lot about what it means to be a kind, sympathetic nurse but also be able to do your job versus just coming to work to make a paycheck. When I go over and above to care for patients, smile, and help them to the extent that I can, my internship is the best thing reward I could get. I am a transformed individual in the sense that I have grown more sympathetic and understanding. This project has taught me so much about how to deal with people when the circumstances are less than ideal and how to respond in happy, sad, scary, etc. situations.


  1. What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you? Write three or four paragraphs describing the key aspects of your experiences completing your STEP Signature Project that led to this change/transformation.


An example of these things and how I have been transformed is from my first Friday night shift of the Academic year. I was very tired and it was nearing time for the next person to come and replace me when all of a sudden, I hear “CODE BLUE” ringing through the hallway. One of my co-worker’s patients’ heart had stop beating and immediately every nurse, doctor, and PCA on the floor ran to the room. I was so nervous and I knew that this was something I would remember for the rest of my life. I immediately got in line to help with chest compressions if necessary while my heart was racing faster than it ever had. It was in that moment that I knew, no matter what it took, that I would save that man’s life if it were my turn. Thankfully, his heart began beating again and the nurse was able to stabilize him.

From my internship, I have also learned a lot about resume building, interviewing for jobs and with big companies, and what makes a successful unit/ organization. My nurse manager is someone who was very helpful when I began my internship in helping me understand the way that a hospital and different units’ work. I have learned from the way she deals with employees and what some of the things she does that are working really well in our department and what don’t work so well. She has been an amazing leader and especially helpful in helping me balance my internship/ project life with school and extracurricular activities.

Even though I have only been at this internship since the end of July, I have matured in ways that I didn’t even think possible for such a short time. I have gained so much more respect for the people that work in the health care field and the hours that they put in to taking care of the people of Columbus and I have also grown myself to be able to handle an internship that requires at least 24 hours of my week while also being a full time student. I have learned to sympathize more, listen more, and to never be afraid to ask for help in any situation.


  1. Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life? Write one or two paragraphs discussing why this change or development matters and/or relates to your academic, personal, and/or professional goals and future plans.


This change is very significant to my life because these are the building blocks of where I hope to be someday as a Physician’s Assistant. Even though my internship may seem lowly and boring, I have learned the basics of the medical world and have been able to take care of patients/ see things that I would have never guessed I would be able to at only 20-years-old. I now am even more passionate about the career I am pursuing and I am also learning that I want to work with a pediatric population in hopefully oncology. This was a goal of mine that I wanted to be sure of and I am even more certain through my STEP project.

The connections I have made through this internship are more than I could’ve ever imagined before and it will be amazing as I go into the end of my junior year, beginning of senior year in 2019. I hope to get transferred either to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in downtown Columbus, or just a few hundred feet away from me currently at The James Cancer Hospital. Through my internship, all the goals I have for my future are much more realistic and I have grown into a stronger, more mature student and woman. I know what I want to accomplish in my future and I am ready to work even harder for it.