Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Summer externship is over


I worked my final shift last week.  Clocked out, said good-bye to my preceptor and a couple other nurses I'd worked with, and then walked out of Externship Hospital for the last time.  Well, as a student nurse extern, that is.  Who knows...I might be back there as a PRN RN at some point (holding on to that as an option!)

What can I say about my experience as a student nurse extern?  For one thing, I really did enjoy it.  I gained so much more confidence working with and talking to patients.  I feel less awkward doing various assessments, taking vitals, and other tasks.  I've picked up little tips and tricks that I didn't learn in clinicals.  I got used to the flow of a full shift, giving and getting report, and of working with more than one patient at a time.  And I learned the importance of getting charting done ASAP, because you never know when you'll get an admission or one of your patients will require extra time.  I most definitely recommend this kind of experience to any nursing student.  It will prepare you for your senior practicum and for your eventual RN job.  Plus as a nursing student on a unit, you find out you'll get to do a lot of tasks/skills for your skills log because the nurses/techs will gladly pass it on by saying "hey, let the student do it!"  :-)

As for orthopedics, I enjoyed it too.  In Externship Hospital, the ortho unit handles true ortho patients - joint replacement program (JRP) patients and any ortho eval admits from the ER or direct admission - as well as med/surg overflow patients.  I literally did a little bit of everything.  Am I specialized in any one thing after this summer?  No.  But do I feel a lot more knowledgeable about general nursing?  Absolutely!

Up next...semester 4 (!!!  SEMESTER 4!!!) starts in about 2 weeks.  Not sure what to expect since we're not really in class as much this semester.  We did get info on our practicum and got a chance to make our unit and shift preferences known.  I asked for night shift (please, oh please, let me get nights...) and said I was interested in med/surg, cardiac, neuro, and ER.  We'll see what happens.

So I have a couple weeks to enjoy the last little bit of stress-free freedom before classes start.  I have a feeling I'm going to hit the ground running and it's going to be busy right up until the end.  Juggling practicum hours with classwork with kiddo activities with studying with fun!  But this is my FINAL semester...I made it through 3 others (4 if you count my Patho/Pharm "pre-nursing" semester), I sure as hell can do this one more time!  Graduation is in sight...NCLEX is coming up (eek!)...the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter!

On that note, I am off to watch the late night showing of tonight's prime time Olympics - still on night shift sleep schedule, love having something to watch all night! - and just relax.

Laters  <---shamelessly swiped from "Fifty Shades of Grey", which I will admit to reading over the summer.  Yep, I succumbed.  So sue me.  I needed something to keep me awake when we had cooperative patients who actually slept at night  :-)

1 comment:

  1. Awesome, have not read your blog in a while, but you demonstrate the huge learning curve in nursing. You are going to make a good nurse. Recognizing charting is a burden and problem is a part of the business and makes you a stronger nurse. Having done travel nursing in many hospitals you realize nurses hate charting, admissions and discharge paperwork because of the time it takes away from patient care.

    Great that you are flexible. Do this upon graduation and you will be successful. Personally med/surg has a mediocre reputation, but this is a great area to learn many things and nurse managers recognize this and you can move to other units with your skills.

    Good luck on your studies.