|Nursing student, Jori Reeves, and her paramedic partner/driver on the Rosebud Reservation during the fall fall break immersion.
Sometimes, a job is just a job. It pays the bills, puts food on the table and keeps the lights on. But sometimes, a job is more than that. It’s a career, a passion, an opportunity to make a positive difference for others and in the world around you.
At Nebraska Methodist College, students have a lot of opportunities to get their feet wet in the different roles they might have in their chosen career path. But they also have opportunities to experience the positive impact they can have in the lives of others using their skills.
A big example of these opportunities is NMC’s Service Immersions, which are offered during the fall winter, spring and summer breaks. Recently, a group of NMC students participated in the Rosebud Service Immersion during fall break. From Oct. 7 to 12, the group traveled to the Rosebud Indian Reservation, located in South Dakota just north of Valentine, Neb.
During the trip, NMC students got a first-hand look at many of the public health-related challenges that exist on the Rosebud Reservation, while also having an opportunity to make a difference. Students worked with Indian Health Services as well as several community agencies, such as a local women’s shelter and an alcohol and substance abuse recovery ranch for youth. Students had the opportunity to work in actual hospital settings or with a community nurse who served local schools and did home visits. Several students also had the opportunity to help on ambulance calls.
"It re-lit a spark in me..."
For some students, the trip was a revealing experience about the health issues that exist on the reservation, including those related to drug and alcohol abuse. For others, the trip was inspiring and reaffirming that through their chosen career path they could have positive and meaningful impacts on the lives of others.
Here’s what a few students said about the trip:
“Personally, this experience has been a real eye-opener and wake up call to a lot of the issues facing Native Americans. It has made me really want to reach out and help these people in order to help them to get ahead in life and help with the healing process.”
“This trip has affected me in a way that is even hard to put into words. It has re-lit a spark in me that has been out for a while now. Coming on this trip, I wasn’t sure I was going to be continuing nursing in the spring. However, this opportunity has once again reminded me how much I want to care for and help others.”
“I learned that I have a really deep desire to reach out and serve individuals that are in the greatest need.”
The Service Immersions are part of NMC’s mission to transform students into educated citizens and to give them a greater holistic perspective of not only the world around them, but their relation to it and the impact they can have on it.
We're Not Done Yet
More Service Immersions are planned for this school year. In January, a group of NMC students will travel to the border town of Laredo, Texas, focusing on diabetes prevention and health issues related to immigration. Students will work with Habitat for Humanity and the Sisters of Mercy.
In March, another group will travel to Nashville, Tenn., where they will be working with the Nashville Mobile Market and the Martha O’Bryan Center educating individuals on healthy food choices and how nutrition affects health.
For more information about NMC’s Service Immersion offerings, please visit our Volunteer Opportunities page. If you have participated in a Service Immersion at NMC, please tell us about your experience in the comments below.
With elections less than a month away, healthcare reform continues to be a hot topic. With Democrats working to uphold the current Affordable Care Act and Republicans working towards repealing and replacing reforms, one thing is for certain — healthcare reform will continue to be on the agenda in one form or another regardless of who sits in the White House after Election Day.
The basic goals of healthcare reform are clear: cut costs while improving the quality of care. One fact that’s not debatable is that the current costs and projected cost of healthcare in the U.S. aren’t sustainable.
But what does healthcare reform mean for nurses, who play such a huge role in the patient care process? The answer: nurses will be key leaders in the implementation of healthcare reform, and the demand for their positions will grow, as will the responsibilities of their position.
Nurses will have a large influence on how healthcare reform is actually implemented in everyday patient care. The overall objective of healthcare reform is for hospitals and other providers to provide the highest quality care using best practices and in the most cost effective manner possible. According to Nebraska Methodist College President Dr. Dennis Joslin, that’s where nurses will need to take the lead.
“Nurses will be in the best position to influence the adoption of best practices,” Joslin said. “Nurses will also be in a prime position to implement strategies that will result in decreasing a patient’s length of stay — a critical financial component for providers.”
Wanted: Advanced Degrees
Healthcare reform will ask nurses to improve on their current roles, such as taking measures to improve patients’ overall experience as well as safety. But it will also place new responsibilities on nurses as well. Healthcare reform will shift providers’ focus from only treating patients when they are sick to promoting overall health and wellness.
The focus emphasizes education for patients about health and wellness, so they are healthier and less likely to need hospitalization, and when they do, their stay is as short as possible. The shift will place nurses in a lead role in educating patients about healthier lifestyles and how to effectively manage chronic illness outside of hospital settings.
Healthcare reform also means an increased demand for highly-skilled nurses. The increased roles and responsibilities of the nursing position will create a greater demand for well-educated nurses, especially those prepared for advanced practice with master’s or doctorate degrees.
Nursing Degrees Online
Perfect for working nurses looking to advance their career, Nebraska Methodist College's online nursing programs provide the best of both worlds: a premier NMC education that employers respect, and the convenience of having it online with a schedule that's convenient. Most programs can be completed in as little as two years. Programs in:
Learn more by requesting a free career strategies e-guide.
Practice Makes Perfect
If you were training to be a pilot, you’d probably want your first take-off to happen in a high-tech flight simulator. In the same way, if you were working to become a firefighter, you would want your first encounter with putting out a fire to be a drill under controlled conditions.
The same is true for being a nurse, and that’s the idea behind Nebraska Methodist College’s Nursing Arts Center. The Nursing Arts Center is set up to simulate hospital, nursing home and clinical settings that nurses may encounter in their careers.
At the heart of the Nursing Arts Center is the Watson family, a set of six high fidelity manikins that simulate a number of scenarios nurses will encounter in the field. The Watson family is named after Jean Watson, an internationally-recognized nurse theorist and nursing professor whose Theory of Human Caring is at the foundation of NMC’s BSN program.
Meet the Family
At first glance, it’s easy for students to see the Watson family isn’t what you might picture when you hear the word “manikin.” They blink and “breathe,” and they can even talk — some in both English and Spanish. But their functions go far beyond that.
Being so lifelike, each member of the Watson family also has a name: Noel, Suzie, Gregg, Hal, Hal Jr. (pictured, right) and Baby Hal. Noel is a birth-simulating manikin, and she can simulate a number of childbirth complications. Baby Hal, the baby she births, can simulate several different types of cries, seizures, color change, dilated pupils, and heart, lung and bowel sounds.
Suzie helps students learn how to check a patient’s blood sugar and how to administer IV fluids, feeding tubes, catheters or assisted breathing. NMC students also use Suzie to learn how to look for breast cancer as well as treat complications due to sexually transmitted diseases. Hal and Gregg are male manikins that simulate many of the functions and scenarios already mentioned, while Hal Jr. simulates a patient who is a younger child. Hal also has drug recognition ability to tell if a student has mixed and administered medicine correctly. The manikins also can simulate CPR as well as defibrillation.
The Watson family and the Nursing Art Center’s simulation rooms provide valuable real world experience. So much so that later this year, doctors and nurses from Methodist Women’s Hospital will be using the simulation rooms to practice birthing scenarios involving the many complications they might encounter during a birth. That says a lot about the level of learning NMC nursing students have access to at the Nursing Arts Center.
Take the Tour
Meet the Watson Family for yourself during one of NMC's Visit Days:
Being a skilled nurse requires more than meets the eye. Nurses are caregivers helping others in their healing processes, and providing that care for another person goes deeper than the many technical skills listed in the job description.
Simply put, Nebraska Methodist College believes it is not enough to provide care for a person without truly caring about the person, and this is where Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring enters in.
Jean Watson is an internationally-recognized nurse theorist and nursing professor. Her Theory of Human Caring is at the foundation of NMC’s BSN program. Freshman nursing students at NMC are introduced to Watson’s theories and teachings in their very first course. From that point on, Watson’s theories are intertwined in each nursing student’s education.
Learn by Doing
Through Watson’s theory, students are taught to care for patients’ all-around wellbeing — their physical health, but also their emotional and spiritual state. According to Nursing Professor Echo Perlman, Watson’s lessons of holistic care are a very important part of what professors teach at NMC’s Nursing Arts Center.
“We do activities within the Nursing Arts Center that aren’t just skills,” Perlman says. “We’ll do activities that teach students how to practice the loving kindness that Watson talks about.”
In NMC’s Nursing Arts Center, students practice their skills on a wide array of life-sized anatomical human models or manikins, appropriately named “The Watson Family.” The students practice interacting with the manikins as if they were caring for real people. Students learn how to comfort their patients by holding their hands or making sure they are covered up. This might seem simple enough, but to a patient it creates a healing environment, which is a crucial part of Watson’s theory. A healing environment is a caring atmosphere that allows a patient to recover and develop to his or her full potential.
Perlman says students are also taught the importance of caring for themselves. In settings such as hospice for instance, nurses deal with death, dying, and grief. According to Watson’s theory, it’s also important for caregivers themselves to recover and heal before taking on the responsibility of caring for others in order to create the best healing environment possible for their patients.
10 Caritas Processes of Watson's Human Theory of Caring:
- Sustaining humanistic-altruistic values by practicing loving-kindness with self and others.
- Being authentically present, enabling faith and hope and honoring others.
- Being sensitive to self and others by cultivating own spiritual practices, beyond ego self to transpersonal self.
- Developing and sustaining loving, trusting-caring relationships.
- Allowing for expression of positive and negative feelings — authentically listening to another person's story.
- Creatively problem-solving through caritas process — full use of self and artistry of caring-healing practices via use of all ways of knowing/being/doing/becoming.
- Engaging in transpersonal teaching and learning within context of caring relationship.
- Creating a healing environment at all levels; subtle environment for energetic authentic caring presence.
- Reverentially assisting with basic needs as sacred acts, touching mind/body/spirit of other; sustaining human dignity.
- Opening to spiritual, mystery, unknowns- allowing for miracles.
For more information about Jean Watson, visit www.watsoncaringscience.org.