Nursing junior Samantha Wright understands long hours at college. Not only must the Wisconsin native balance classes, homework, and an off-campus job, but she must also dedicate three days a week to clinicals, the nursing student’s practicum.
Supervised by MBU’s nursing faculty, these clinicals give nursing students a chance to practice on the floor what they’ve learned in the classroom. Wright explains, “The expectations are that we should be able to do everything that we’ve learned so far, including providing AM care, giving meds, checking vitals, or completing a head-to-toe assessment.”
Wright goes on to share that in her first year of clinicals she has worked at public schools, nursing homes, and hospitals. At these hospitals she gained hands-on experience in a variety of units, from the maternity unit to the operating room.
“I’m a hands-on learner,” she says, “so it’s nice to have that balance of learning skills and being able to practice them. The more I progress through clinicals, the more I feel like a nurse.”
Though clinicals aren’t Wright’s first experience in the medical field, they have confirmed her desire to be a nurse. “I wasn’t the type of person that wanted to be a nurse since I was little,” she explains. “But being able to do all the different clinicals has confirmed, ‘Yep, I really want to do this.’”
She has also learned that flexibility, responsibility, and selflessness are important characteristics in a nurse. “It’s not about you or what you think needs to happen that day,” she says. “It’s whatever needs to get done for the patient.”
A highlight of her work is the chance to make someone’s day. She shares, “Hearing that you made [the patient’s] day—and hearing the patient’s family saying that—makes you feel good. It makes you feel that what you did wasn’t worthless, that what you did made an impact in their life.”
Wright looks forward to her last year of nursing and, she hopes, a future career as a maternity nurse.