Saturday, 7 March 2015

A Day In The Live of A Nurse


High school students from Gering and Scottsbluff got a chance last week to learn what it’s like to be a nurse.

Becky Kautz, a member of the nursing faculty at Western Nebraska Community College, gathered current nurses to speak about how they came to the profession while student nurses and other members of the faculty showed the 50 students what life is like for a nurse in several of the nursing disciplines.

“This is the first time we’ve tried this activity,” Kautz said. “We invited high school students who have expressed an interest in nursing as a career path.”

Kautz said there is a continual need for nurses and WNCC can provide the training.

“We have both LPN and RN degrees here,” she said.

T.J. Dredla, an anesthetist with Regional West Medical center, said he didn’t really know at first if he wanted to be in health care.

“Something kept pulling me toward medicine,” he said. “The many opportunities in nursing was comforting because I could practice at home in rural areas and help my friends and family.”

Julie Welsh, a nurse practitioner at the Womens’ Center, had no idea what she wanted to do at first. She knew she liked science and was good at it.

“If you’re passionate about it, you can be really good,” she said.

After working in several areas, which she said she had no passion for, Welsh found what she wanted by working with women in labor and delivery.

“If you are on a path and get to a dead end, don’t treat it as one,” she said. “Turn the corner and see where it takes you.”

Jason Rairigh is a flight nurse with Air Link. He started his college career in physical therapy but found it wasn’t for him. A friend encouraged him to go into nursing.

“There is a whole range of fields you can get into,” he said.

Rairigh has worked in medical surgery and the psychiatric floor.

“I did home visits to check up on people who weren’t doing so well,” he said. Seven years ago, he got on the flight team. He describes his job as a flying phone booth.

“I was scared to death at first,” he said. “I like that we have more autonomy and that we get to land, pluck a person out of a situation and go 140 mph to get them where they need to be.”

Rairigh encouraged the students not to pick a field right away, but dabble a little bit.

“If you don’t like it, get on another floor. There are 50 different areas you can go into with nursing,” he said. “If you know what you want, give it 110 percent and make sure you like it.”

Cassandra Hoskins is an LPN and RN and has worked as a substitute nurse in the school district and Quick Care.

“Nursing gives you the unique opportunity to work in many areas,” she said.

She got into nursing because she likes working with and helping people. She told the students that working as an LPN while pursing her RN degree made her a well-rounded nurse as well as helping financially.

“While working on my RN, I was making LPN wages,” she said. “I love this job. It’s not easy, but it’s really rewarding and you get to touch people’s lives.”

Siaka Sanneh is from Gambia and is pursuing his nursing degree.

“Growing up, I was always interested in medicine,” he said. “I love what I do. I’m fascinated by it.”

Sanneh said nursing isn’t for everyone and the work can be challenging. He continues to work hard toward his degree.

“If I go home, I can help my people,” he said.

Scottsbluff High School counselor Julia Newman said the students jumped at the opportunity to come and learn about nursing.

“This is an opportunity to get them out of their comfort zone,” she said.

Gering High School counselor Sharyl Hamer brought mostly juniors who indicated they had an interest in nursing.

“This is great because the experts are telling them what it’s like,” she said. “Hands on here is a much better view than just a classroom.”

After listening to the speakers, students got hands-on experience in several nursing areas from nursing students.

“It’s neat to see students step up and teach others because they have the knowledge to do so,” said Megan Massey, faculty member at WNCC.

Gering junior Kira Wysocki said she was glad to have the opportunity to learn about the different aspects of nursing.

“I want to be a surgical nurse,” she said. “I really like medicine and this interests me the most.”
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