Capstone Practicum: Terra Harvey
North Colorado Medical Center...
My experience at North Colorado Medical Center has exceeded my expectations beyond imagination. My experience started with an interview in September and will be completed in May with so much more than just a clinical experience.
I spent my senior capstone on the medical-surgical unit taking care of patients with many different diagnoses ranging from orthopedic surgery to neurological conditions to abdominal surgery to infections. It is great to be able to utilize the knowledge I have learned from classes in the clinical setting. I have had so many “aha moments” where concepts from classes make more sense.
One of my favorite parts about the floor is that every day brings about a new challenge; you can be a well-experienced nurse and still be learning something new every day. Every patient is so different and may have multiple diagnoses. It taught me how to tailor care to each individual in order to ensure holistic care was provided. I love putting all of the pieces together to make sense of what is going on physiologically and pathologically with the patient. I provided assessments, medications, and procedures to my patients every day. It was so rewarding to watch the patient get well enough to go home and know that I was a part of making that happen. I enjoyed getting to know each patient because each came with a unique story. I was able to communicate with the multidisciplinary team of CNAs, dieticians, case managers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, physicians, nurse practitioners and physician's assistants. Their insights were beneficial and demonstrated that all aspects of care are intertwined.
My experience would have not been half of what it was without the nurses on the floor. Anne, my preceptor, was amazing. She is the type of nurse I will strive to be when I start working. She is so knowledgeable and has a great bed-side manner. From the beginning, she has always been so patient and has made sure that every opportunity is a learning experience. Her smile and attitude are contagious. I have seen the effect they have on the patients and coworkers. I know I will continue this when I am a nurse. The other nurses were great about finding me when there was an opportunity for a new learning experience or for practicing skills. I will be sad to leave the unit when my practicum is over because I feel I have become one of the team.
What I've Learned...
This Capstone experience has increased my passion and desire for nursing. I am excited to make the transition from student nurse to registered nurse; however, it has made me aware I still have so much to learn and am ready for the challenge. I don’t think I would feel ready to take the next step in nursing without the clinical knowledge I have gained throughout this experience. I know for sure this has helped solidify the fact that nursing is where I am meant to be..