Casper was an amazing experience! I was at Mountain View Regional Hospital, which is a surgical hospital specializing in neuro and spinal surgeries. I started out in the PACU, which was a fabulous experience, and then moved into the ICU. While over there I did some shifts in the ER and medical/surgical floor as well. My preceptor was a very experienced ICU nurse and taught me so much. We had patients who were post-op craniotomies and spinal surgeries, and my perspective on neurology and critical care was expanded more than I ever thought possible! Everyone at this facility was so encouraging and really let students participate in every aspect of care. I learned so much and am so thankful I was able to do the first half of my capstone there!
I am learning so much here! This is a fabulous facility and unit on which to be able to do a capstone. I have been able to apply everything we have learned in all of our classes up to this point and look at a patient's condition holistically. The cardiac ICU has such high acuity patients that you really have to look at everything they are presenting with to make decisions for their care. The health care team is amazing and they do surgical rounds every day for every patient. The nurse gives report (which I have been able to do now!) and the doctors, dietitian, pharmacist, nurse practitioners, etc. make a plan of care together, which I really love! I have been able to take my own patients now and feel this is building my confidence and knowledge as a nurse. I have also been able to watch a couple open heart surgeries on a 4-day-old and a 3-month-old and even take care of them post-operatively. Cardiopulmonary bypass is truly an amazing process to watch, and the surgeons and anesthesiologists are very willing to teach as they are operating.
I feel so much more prepared going into a job after working [in these units for my capstone practicum]. Physiological processes, pathophysiology, and pharmacology are starting to make more sense and all the dots seem to be connecting which is really exciting! I feel like I have so much more to learn... [My experiences] have definitely increased my desire and passion to work with children, but especially my desire to do critical care nursing. I love building a strong relationship with patients and families and seeing the progress they make in these settings.