When a child decides that he or she is going to help people, that can often become the first step on the path to becoming a teacher or a nurse. In my case, it was the latter. When I enrolled the college, everything seemed exciting and challenging at the same time. The amounts of information one had to study were tremendous, but it was clear from the beginning that any piece of information can save someone’s life.
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The college has taught me that it is not only the theory that matters but also practice and teamwork. Sometimes you need to be very patient when working with people, because everyone needs a special approach, and, no matter how tired you are, you are your patients’ guiding light in the troubled waters. Your current classmates (and future professionals) show you that complicated problems can be solved together, and sometimes it is the only way to do it. Nevertheless, the college has also taught me to be independent, weigh the facts, consider and review my opinion, and always bear responsibility for it.
It would not be an exaggeration if I said that college made me understand what it means to be an adult, to understand that you are responsible not only for your actions but sometimes for someone’s life. If the nurses in a hospital have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree, it is linked to a 9% decrease in patients’ fatal outcomes (Cho et al. 539). Of course, education and practice can differ, but the efforts and striving needed to get the Degree will certainly help me in practice.
Critical reflection is also an important feature for a future nurse. If in college we critically approach books, articles, case studies of others, in the future it will help us to evaluate our own decisions and mistakes critically. One should avoid mistakes, especially if they are crucial in a case, but never forget that they can also be an indication of what questions one should ask: have I made this mistake repeatedly? What was the outcome of the previous one? How can I stop repeating this mistake and will others appear instead of it? It seems that even a professional with decades of experience should sometimes answer these simple questions.
The sense of belonging (both in college and at work) plays a significant role in a nurse’s life. As stated by Watt and Pascoe, “They need to feel a sense of ‘belonging’ also impacts on the newly qualified nurses’ capacity” (24). I think this idea is relevant to studying in college too because sometimes you need support from the people who go through the same challenges as you do, you need to hear their stories and evaluate their experience. My college is teaching me to approach people with different attitudes, and this skill will be of utter importance in clinical practice. After all, we work not with the diagnoses but with people; understanding of human nature is not a subject, but it is something college introduces you to.
Critical thinking, teamwork, the right approach to patients, ability to evaluate your own decisions and mistakes are the skills I hope to gain during my study in college. This will hopefully help me to perform well in clinical practice and persuade my experienced co-workers that I am a reliable, responsible, and accountable nurse.
Cho, Eunhee, Douglas M. Sloane, Eun-Young Kim, Sera Kim, Miyoung Choi, Il Young Yoo, Hye Sun Lee and Linda H. Aiken. “Effects of Nurse Staffing, Work Environments, and Education on Patient Mortality: An Observational Study.” International Journal of Nursing Studies 52.2 (2015): 535-542. Print.
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Watt, Elizabeth and Elizabeth Pascoe. “An Exploration of Graduate Nurses’ Perceptions of Their Preparedness for Practice After Undertaking the Final Year of Their Bachelor of Nursing Degree in a University‐based Clinical School of Nursing.” International Journal of Nursing Practice 19.1 (2013): 23-30. Print.