Nebraska Methodist College is renowned around the metro area for its nursing and allied health curriculum. For 30 years, we’ve enabled persons in assorted healthcare fields to offer the best care possible, and for 95 years before that, we educated nurses to excel in the very same way.
But we’re not just teaching a trade. This is perhaps the biggest misunderstanding among some students when they visit our school. People believe that we focus only on the technical aspects of their future healthcare role, whether that be nursing, surgical technology, occupational therapy or any number of other disciplines offered at NMC.
What this fails to take into account is all those other things that create a successful healthcare practitioner. The technical portion of the job is only the beginning of a valuable education in the field of healing.
Thanks to our Educated Citizen curriculum and a holistic methodology perfected over the course of 125 years, we don’t just train healthcare workers. We educate our students to truly become citizens of the world, capable of interweaving their caring, human-centric way of looking at life with the technical skills that will allow them to perform their jobs to the best of their ability.
Why does a nurse or allied health professional need to take courses that have nothing to do with technical expertise? Imagine the level of care if they didn’t.
We firmly believe that healthcare professionals aren’t there just to do a job. They are there to provide comfort to the patient, to connect on a level that goes deeper than what you would expect when a mechanic changes the oil in your car. That’s not the role of the nurse, it’s not the role of a radiologic technologist, it’s not the role of someone who cares for you in your darkest moment.
In order to connect, you need a broad reservoir of knowledge to draw from. You must relate to the individual in your care even if he or she may have completely different views, a completely different background and no other commonalities besides the fact that we all share in the human experience.
That’s where our curriculum that goes beyond healthcare comes in. Our World of Ideas series is a great example. Students take a selection of courses centered on Historical Perspectives, the Arts and Human Connection. Topics include things like religion, world history and even short stories.
These are not common topics for a nursing student. But in studying concepts and belief systems of different cultures, students attain a better understanding of the global society we live in and how it came to be. On the surface, a white, 22-year old nurse fresh out of school has no common ground with a Muslim grandfather who has recently immigrated to the United States. But when she treats him, it is her duty as a nurse and as a person to connect with that patient, to share in deep, heartfelt conversations in order to help them through their fears, acknowledge and discuss their beliefs and engage in genuine discourse with family members worried about their loved one.
We never stop learning as human beings, and our curriculum outside of healthcare is the first step in that journey.
Communication Is the Key
One of the most important things that a healthcare professional can do to help his or her patient is communicate with them in an honest, open way. It’s easy to talk but a lot harder to really listen.
This is especially true when language barriers stand in the way. Not only might a healthcare provider have trouble communicating the procedure or providing comfort, but the patient is unable to give voice to their own fears and frustrations. They could have key insights that are missed because of a simple miscommunication.
In many cases, body language of the healthcare provider can speak to that person in an important way that shows care without ever vocalizing it. It’s why our nurses are trained to wash away any past stresses the moment they step in a door to interact with a patient. Empathy radiates from a person, but so does the lack of the same, and the patient deserves to feel like they’re the only person who matters, because during that time, they are.
When nonverbal communication isn’t enough, it’s up to the healthcare professional to take the extra step, not expect the patient to do so. This is why we offer both Spanish and Sign Language for Healthcare Professionals. The depth of feeling a patient experiences when a nurse or other healthcare provider communicates with them in their own language is unimaginable. It’s not just about understanding the words or stringing together grammatically correct sentence structure; it’s the fact that the individual caring for the patient took the time to go the extra mile and meet them where they are.
Communication is critical, and it’s why healthcare is only the beginning at Nebraska Methodist College.
Holism Is Where The Heart Is
Our students don’t just treat the human body. It’s just as important to help a person in their mind and spirit.
This requires relatability, and relatability requires a deeper understanding of the melting pot that is this planet. It’s knowing different topics and being willing to listen and attain common ground even when someone’s views may be in direct opposition to your own.
Nebraska Methodist College students learn to care for every person. We emphasize this by exposing them to radical ideas, world history and touchy subjects at the forefront of modern discourse. To do otherwise would prevent the honest conversations that are crucial to providing exceptional care to each and every patient.
Every soul is exceptional, every patient is an incredible person who deserves to be treated with dignity, respect and the utmost compassion. Anyone can learn technical knowhow, but our students learn to appreciate humanity in all its forms, and that’s the difference that we make, through an education that teaches students to embrace the totality of civilization.
Why does NMC teach more than just healthcare classes despite being a healthcare school? Because to do so is to educate our nurses and allied health professionals to become idealized versions of themselves.
That is the difference in an education at NMC.