Emma Schoepf’s STEP Reflection

For my step project, I decided to take the opportunity to live in Columbus for the Summer and gain experience in the nursing field. I took my whole summer and dedicated it to working as a PCA or patient care associate for the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. As a PCA, I worked in the float pool which allowed me to have experience of many different units throughout the hospital. Thanks to STEP, I was able to afford the living costs to sublease a room and grocery expenses. Another aspect of my STEP project was advocating for my service group on campus. The organization I am a part of is called NSPIRE. This stands for Nursing Students Promoting Initiatives to reinforce equality. Over the summer, I worked with the co-president of the organization to fundraise. We put on a scrub sale at the College of Nursing to raise money for the supplies we needed to purchase to help the underserved population.
My understanding of myself definitely grew over the summer. I have a better idea of who I want to be and what I want to do. I also think this summer taught me the value of hard work. I put in 36 hours almost every week of the summer learned more and becoming acquainted with the hospital. I also got to observe nurses and their roles on many different units. I think I can better understand and have patience with patients after hearing some of their life stories. I am now a more empathetic person to an individual’s needs and wants. I believe these characteristics will help mold my career as a nurse practitioner one day.
Due to HIPPA regulations I am unable to disclose much of what I experienced while working in a hospital setting. However, there were a hand full of patients and experiences I encountered that shaped my transformation. First would be the positive attitudes, even in the sickest of patients. It made me stop and regret the times when I have a poor attitude for the most insignificant of reasons.
Another transforming experience was working with wonderful nurses who gave me great advice on everything from patient care to applications for graduate school. This really helped motivate me starting a new semester and giving me hope for the future. One nurse in particular was in the Family Nurse Practitioner and she explained to me the entire application process and the pros and cons of taking a gap and going straight to graduate school.
Another significant event was our fundraiser for NSPIRE. This organization is something I hold close to my heart. As a part of NSPIRE, we provide care to the homeless community of greater Columbus. Being able to be a part of the behind-the-scenes work it takes to make this services group. This has taught me that I can combine my nursing skills, service, and leadership.
Ultimately, this summer has been a significant growing experience for me. I learned more about my work ethic, commitment to others, and goals than I would have ever thought possible if I did not use my STEP funds to live in Columbus this summer. I’d like to thank the STEP Program for providing this life changing experience.

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