Elie Wiesel once said, “There is divine beauty in learning. To learn means to accept the postulate that life did not begin at my birth. Others have been here before me and I walk in their footsteps. The books I have read were composed by generations of fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, teachers and disciples. I am the sum total of their experiences and their quest. And so are you.” Through my community internship with Ogallala Commons at Golden Plains Community Hospital I was blessed with the opportunity to be taught by many who have come before me. I was given the opportunity to work alongside administration officers, nurses and physicians. To say that the opportunity to even be in their presence and see the changes they make every day in people’s lives is a blessing, would be an understatement. I was extremely shocked when they began asking my opinion on what I would do in the situation, they let me have a voice in various individuals care and through each and every lesson I learned how to strengthen and perfect that voice.
Through my internship I not only strengthened my technical nursing skills but I also gained valuable professionalism. Working with the members of Ogallala Commons on turning in time sheets, and receiving feedback on my blogs taught me a lot about constructive criticism and professionalism, and I am extremely grateful to each and every member for the help and praise. Nursing involves great communication skills, many time nurses have to be the bearer of bad news and good communication skills are essential. Nurses often times receive family members emotional out cries whether angry or sad and it is important to properly know how to address and handle the situation in a professional but caring manner. I learned how to properly address patients, how to properly inform families of changing patient situations and how to properly inform doctors of new and valuable information. Working with Mrs. Peery taught me collaboration skills through building a diverse schedule and determining necessary goals. I also gained a lot of wonderful advice from many of the great nurses I was so fortunate to work alongside. Dean, the Family Nurse Practioner at Fritch Medical Clinic gave me some advice that will stay with me forever. He said, “Stay dedicated to school, remember that even after graduation we as healthcare providers are in practice, and that’s exactly what it is practice. You have to miss some IVs to learn how to get good at them. Don’t let the bad days get you down; the bad days are often the most valuable. The bad days teach you lessons you will never forget.” I really appreciated Dean’s advice, as a nursing student, I try very hard to make sure I am always perfect with my technique when in reality not every situation is going to go perfect. The real lesson and the real beauty in learning is taking your mistakes, accepting them and learning from them so that you do not repeat them again.
I thought I knew what it meant to care for a person, and to an extent I did, however I still did and will always have a lot to learn. My supervisor Becky Peery worked with me to set up a schedule that allowed exposure too many different fields of nursing. I spent time in Labor and Delivery, Medical Surgical, Emergency Department, Operating Room, Clinical Practice, and Home Health. Too be completely honest the only department that I was initially interested in was Labor and Delivery. I love working with newborns and originally had no desire to work in the other departments. However, after a few emotional experiences my opinions of the other departments were quickly changed. Hearing an older disabled gentlemen tell you that, “You’re my favorite part of the week!” because he is confined to his home due to his disability and has no other family left to care for him, really hits you hard. Spending three hours of your shift trying to convince an old woman whom has lost her memory and the physical ability to care for her to eat, is not something that can be taken lightly. Watching new parents cry at the sound of their babies’ first cry, really makes you appreciate the beauty of life. All of these experiences and many more helped me to see the importance of nursing. Nursing does not discriminate against age, as illness does not either. Nursing is being there for any one in their weakest, helpless, happiest, and most heartbreaking moments. Nursing is not just hanging a bullous, or giving a bed bath; nursing is spending thirty minutes of your home health shift to just sit and talk too that lonely sweet old man, nursing is holding that old women’s hand as she relives the reality, that she so often forgets that her husband passed five years ago, nursing is standing by that same women’s side and giving your best effort for hours to try and feed her, and nursing is wrapping that newborn baby up tightly and making sure that all is well so the new healthy and happy family can go home and begin their life. My experience at Golden Plains will stay with me forever and I am so grateful and blessed to have been given the opportunity to care for each and every patient that I came into contact with this summer.
This summer has been more than I could have ever dreamed of, and I am eternally grateful to the members of Ogallala Commons and each and every person of Golden Plains for the opportunity they have given me. I grew as a nurse and an individual; I learned lessons that will stay with me forever. To each and every person that was a part of my experience I would like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are all phenomenal individuals and if it wasn’t for your hard work and dedication that got you where you are today, I would not have been blessed with the opportunity to learn from truly some of the best people around.