Nurses are caring, compassionate people with a passion for helping others. A career in nursing offers an opportunity to exercise empathy and kindness when dealing with patients in clinical settings, homes for elderly or disabled people, and rehabilitation facilities, among many other healthcare settings. Nurses assist pregnant mothers and bring babies into this world, see to the needs and comforts of their patients, counsel families who are worried about their loved ones and make a difference in disadvantaged communities.
Accelerate your career with exceptional training
If you are a compassionate, caring person and you have a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field, an online ABSN from a reputable institution such as Saint Joseph’s College of Maine can help you transition into the field of nursing and obtain nursing credentials. The ABSN program on offer makes use of the latest in teaching methods and technology and can be completed in as little as 15 months, allowing students to quickly move onto a new career as a nurse.
Simulated laboratories for training
As part of the practical experience that nursing students are required to complete, colleges provide state-of-the-art simulation (SIM) laboratories that act as a transition between learning the theory of nursing and practicing on live patients. The inclusion of this type of training offers immense benefits in terms of training nursing students.
Students enrolled in accelerated training programs are still required to complete the same period of clinical hours as their counterparts who are completing the standard BSN degree. State-of-the-art simulation centers play an important role in getting ABSN students up to speed in a shorter timeframe.
SIM facilities provide the ideal learning environment, simulating real-life circumstances to support the development of analytical and critical thinking expertise. It allows students to develop their skills and knowledge in a safe environment.
Students gain confidence as they work with nursing manikins and learn to use nursing aids, monitors and equipment to provide realistic medical interventions. They also have the chance to develop the skills to make critical patient-based decisions without the pressure of possible mistakes that can harm a live patient. Students learn to work together in teams as they become familiar with coping in stressful situations, administering health interventions such as intravenous medication, and providing emergency care to patients suffering from seizures or cardiac arrest.
SIM facilities teach students how to use the required equipment to treat patients. A wide range of scenarios can be enacted in SIM labs, teaching students to play the various roles that are essential to the successful running of a medical facility. Training in a SIM environment helps to teach students important skills, such as the operation of EKG machines, how to manage and replenish medication carts and how to keep records based on feedback from the various technologies.
Clinical placements and preceptors
All nursing students are required to gain practical experience through a clinical placement. Choosing an institution that offers a clinical placement service is a good idea, as they provide assistance in finding a placement that is suitable for your line of study. Once placed in a clinical environment, you will be assigned to a preceptor, who will become your guide and mentor throughout placement.
Preceptors are dedicated nurses who are passionate about their work and have a desire to share their wealth of knowledge with nursing students. During the clinical practicum, students will learn to work with patients in various clinical settings as their preceptor observes and guides them through the practical aspects of administering care to patients. Students will learn how to interact professionally with patients and their families, as well as with medical teams from various disciplines.
Nurses are required to work according to evidence-based practices that have been well-researched and approved over time. This gives new nurses confidence in their practice and ensures continuity and safety in the methods used, while improving patient outcomes.
Interprofessional care and working in teams
In clinical settings, multidisciplinary teams are involved in the treatment of patients, providing a holistic outlook, improving the patient’s comfort and speeding up the recovery rate. As a student nurse working alongside an interprofessional team, you will learn about the various disciplines that are involved in treating patients and how they interact with one another as they strive towards optimum patient care and recovery. This experience may also give you valuable insights into the direction you would like to take when considering your future job applications, studies and specialization.
Cultural competence training
Cultural competence and effective communication are vital skills for nurses. In a clinical setting, there is no room for misunderstanding, as it can mean the difference between life and death.
Patients who are unable to understand or communicate their symptoms effectively due to a language barrier are often fearful and uncertain, and this impacts their compliance with the treatment plan and their recovery rate. Nurses are required to educate their patients on current and follow-up treatment, such as dressing wounds and taking the correct medication.
Patients are also more comfortable with someone who understands their cultural beliefs and practices. Some religions disagree with certain clinical practices, and this will undeniably cause discomfort for the patient and possibly result in ineffective treatment. Nurses are required to have an awareness of the cultural diversities that they may encounter.
Medical staff need to be able to discuss the benefits and possible risks with patients and their families to help them reach a decision regarding the required interventions.
Fast-track your education
As a second-degree student, you have already established that you have what it takes to succeed. Your desire to serve patients and communities, combined with your drive and ability to work hard, will get you through this intense period of study, which is enhanced by the practical side of working in SIM centers and working alongside experienced professionals in real-life clinical settings. As you take up the challenge, make the most of this opportunity for a promising future of rewarding and life-enhancing experiences.