By Dakota Fredette
Although the major is new and the students are few, Bluffton University’s nursing program is already exposing its nine students to the field of nursing through their first clinical observation at St. Rita’s Medical Center in Lima, Ohio.
These observations are the students’ first foray into the nursing world where they learn firsthand what it looks and feels like to be a nurse. The students’ first observation began with each student getting paired with a different nurse working at the hospital.
Kylie Brock, a first-year student, was paired with an emergency room registered nurse while Maddie Huffman, another first-year student, was paired with a registered nurse working in pediatrics. Huffman and Brock shadowed their nurses for the day, watching their every move and learning everything they could.
Measuring vitals, checking IV sites, learning how to insert catheters, checking on patients and their families and learning how to give out medicine were just a few tasks that were taught to the students.
“The best thing is being able to meet so many new people from different walks of life,” said Brock.
Brock one day hopes to become an emergency room registered nurse like the one she observed and eventually work her way to becoming a nurse practitioner.
“The best thing for me was walking out knowing that I am in the right field because I absolutely loved it,” said Huffman.
Huffman’s career goal is to eventually become a pediatric oncologist.
There are bad moments as well as good ones. Working with heroin overdose patients and treating the very young are not the most pleasant experiences according to Maddie and Brock.
“While it is very hard work, it is worth it,” said Brock.
“It’s a very beneficial profession; you feel good at the end of the day knowing you helped someone,” said Huffman.
Bluffton’s nursing program requires dual enrollment with Northwest State Community College, which will prepare students to take National Council License Examination in order to become registered nurses.
“Never get discouraged by the workload,” is the most important thing for success in the nursing program, Huffman said.
For more information about the nursing program, contact Dr. Sherri Winegardner, director of nursing at Bluffton University.