Beginning in May, 10 students from the Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) programs joined us at Providence Care Hospital for summer positions. While many of these nursing students had completed previous clinical rotations at St. Mary’s of the Lake Hospital, they were the first group to work in the newly opened Providence Care Hospital.
We spoke with Alysa Shaw, Clinical Educator for the Seniors Rehabilitation and Restorative Rehabilitative Care unit, to learn more about this role. Alysa noted that the students received substantial training and orientation prior to beginning their work on the units. Clinical Educators provided training on electronic Patient Record (ePR), ceiling lifts, bed exit alarms, safety bracelets and personal alarms, as well as Infection Prevention & Control. The students also received “in-service” training which they completed on the units over the course of the summer. These in-services included education on oxygen and airway management, smoking cessation, and participation in mock emergency codes.
“I absolutely loved working with the staff and the patients; everyone was very kind, patient and supportive-I could not have asked for a better team to work with and learn from”, said one nursing student. For twelve weeks these students were able to gain hands-on experience in the nursing profession. Alysa said that despite entering into a brand-new work environment and a state-of-the-art building, the students rose to challenge and shined in their roles.
Alysa also noted that the nursing students were in complement to the normal staffing ratios; each student was paired with a supervising RN and assisted him/her with the daily patient assignment. The students were able to assist with activities of daily living and personal care, accompany patients to outside appointments, and participate in a variety of educational learning opportunities. In addition, the students were invited to participate in weekly interprofessional rounds. These rounds are attended by physicians, nurses, allied staff and other care team members. Collaboratively the group discusses patient goals, and how patients are progressing towards these goals. The students were able to contribute to these conversations as they worked alongside truly dynamic and interprofessional groups.
At the end of their 12-week position, the student nurses were invited to provide feedback on their experience. Among the questions, the students were asked about the support they received from staff and any suggestions on how to improve the position in the future. One student shared that “the patients and the experience will likely stay with me for a lifetime”. We would like to thank all of our nursing students for their hard work over the last twelve weeks, and wish them the best of luck as they return to school in the fall.