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Sierra Vetter

Capstone Practicum 2021


My capstone experience...

Summing up my experience in my capstone placement into a short paragraph is nearly impossible. My gratification for the blessings I have received is endless and hard to put into words—so I will just start at the beginning:

Prior to Capstone experience...

...I was constantly second-guessing myself and lacked confidence. The COVID-19 pandemic only further contributed to these feelings. Losing the opportunity to participate in specialty clinical experiences, such as PACU, OR, Cath Lab, etc., made me anxious to progress into my senior year as I was still questioning what specialty or department I would be interested in pursuing. With my only experience outside of the Med/Surg floor being in the Emergency Department, I decided to list the ED as my top choice for a capstone placement. In that moment, I was unaware of how impactful that small decision would later turn out to be.

My Capstone experience...has been nothing short of eventful and exciting!

My capstone experience in the Emergency Department at a Wyoming hospital has been nothing short of eventful and exciting. On day one in the ED I found myself in the middle of a code blue performing CPR for the very first time. That day truly set the tone for the rest of my time in the ED, as I have since experienced 5 codes, several STEMIs, strokes, cardioversions, gruesome open fractures, MIS-C, and more. Every day is an adventure in the Emergency Department, providing me the opportunity to see patients of all ages with varying acuity levels.

In just two short months since beginning my capstone experience, my confidence has grown exponentially. For this I owe two thank yous—one to the FWWSON and the other to my preceptor. The nursing program at UW not only adequately prepares you for the clinical skills you will use in the future, but also the professional aspect of nursing, including legal and ethical issues, as well as preparing for employment. As for my preceptor, she has consistently nudged me towards independence while still providing me the structured guidance I need as I transition into my role as a soon-to-be graduate nurse. Her teaching style has perfectly complimented my learning style, giving me the best possible hands-on education I could have ever asked for. Her endless knowledge and experience in ED nursing has inspired me to challenge myself each day with a new skill or unfamiliar concept. If someday I end up being half the nurse my preceptor is, I will count that a success!

Culminating in job offer

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the ED so much so that I have accepted a job offer for a position in the ED through the nurse residency program at this facility. Through this experience I have learned that the greatest outcomes are generated from struggles and hardships, and my passion for nursing continues to grow with each struggle I overcome.

Other than the stress of senioritis kicking in and the challenge of studying for the NCLEX, I have to say that there’s not much I can complain about right now because life is pretty great! As a closing note, I want to express how proud I am of my classmates for persevering through the pandemic and continuing to pursue our callings as nurses. I feel lucky to have learned alongside each and every one of you and can’t wait to hear about everyone’s successes down the road!

Story placed: 4/12/2021

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