The 5 Coolest Things I’ve Done in Nursing School (So Far)
My first half of my first semester in the Camosun/UVic BSN program has been incredible. While we don’t get to use needles or do super complex skills until second year, we’re still learning some really cool things that are important to the fundamentals of care. I thought that (as my first blog post) I would list the 5 coolest things that I’ve done in the nursing program so far (in no particular order)!
Due to patient and staff confidentiality, I have to leave specific information out of some of these points, as they do take place in a hospital setting and I want to protect the privacy of those people whom I’ve interacted with.
#1: Getting to do a shadow shift with an upper-year student nurse
During the very first semester, first-year students get the opportunity to shadow either second- or third-year student nurses for a few hours at their clinical placements. I got to go to Royal Jubilee Hospital’s complex surgery ward to shadow a third-year.
It was so interesting to see all of the things I’m going to be able to do as I progress through nursing school. I was so impressed by the amount of knowledge my student nurse had and can’t believe that in only 2 years, I’ll (hopefully) know that much, too.
#2: Learning about infection control measures and how to prevent communicable diseases
Since COVID, one of the biggest sources of stress for me was getting sick from different diseases and illnesses. One of the first things we learned was how to prevent ourselves from getting sick in our future placements.
There are different types of equipment we use (such as gowns, gloves, masks, etc.) to prevent the transmission of things like COVID, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases. It’s great to know that if there is ever an exposure at my clinical placements or even as a future RN, I’ll be able to protect myself and others properly.
#3. Using mechanical lifts to transfer people
One of our classes each semester is a lab where we learn a variety of skills that we will end up utilizing in our nursing practice. This term’s focus is on foundational basics, and how to care for people who may not be able to care for themselves.
One week, we learned about the devices used to transfer patients from one area to another. The coolest (and most fun) one to learn about was the mechanical lift, which is a large sling attached to a mechanical bar on the ceiling.
This allows us to take patients to the washroom, a chair, or back to bed without them having to walk or bear weight. We actually got to practice on each other too, so it was a fun learning experience.
#4: Learning how to care for ourselves in the context of caring for others
The concept behind this is that we provide better care when we feel physically and emotionally well in ourselves.
It’s so crucial to be able to learn how to reflect on how we feel in our own lives and how that can impact the care we give to others.
#5: Got to sit in on surgeries
This experience wasn’t associated with nursing school, but it does involve learning more about specialty nursing and is something that students can typically experience in second year.
I got the amazing opportunity to sit in on 4 orthopedic (bone) surgeries. Currently, I work casually at a hospital and asked if I could observe a couple of operations because one of my interests is surgical nursing. It was such an incredible and surreal experience to actually be in the operating room and seeing it all up close!
A Bit About Nursing School
To conclude this post, I know that there may be some people who are interested in pursuing nursing school and I wanted to provide a little bit of information about the Camosun/UVic program and what it looks like!
A 4-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is offered in partnership with Camosun College and UVic, where students learn skills and abilities to become registered nurses (RNs). The first 2.5 years are at the Camosun College Interurban campus (which has a brand new building just for health science students) and the last 1.5 years are at UVic.
You can apply for this program directly out of high school, using university transfer courses, or with a combination of both options. It’s a competitive program to get into, but it’s such a great career to pursue, especially if you’re interested in health care and medicine.
After you graduate and become an RN, the opportunities are virtually endless. You can choose from many different specialties like emergency, surgery, intensive care, pediatrics, public health, labour and delivery, and so many other options. The profession keeps diversifying, too, so there’s always room for growth and continuing education.
Looking into the future, I’ll be doing a vlog on what a typical week looks like in the program, so be sure to stay tuned for that!