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Former Student, Now Staff Member!

December 20, 2018

Learning is done every day by every staff member at HPHA. Whether it be by accessing e-TRAIN (our Learning Management System) or attending a workshop taught by our Clinical Nurse Educators, the Alliance is working hard to further develop a knowledgeable and highly skilled workforce.

Another way learning happens at HPHA is through student placements. Did you know that last year HPHA offered placements to over 200 students in several health care related fields?

Phil completed his final clinical placement at HPHA in January 2018 for the BScN program at Western University on the Surgery Unit at Stratford General Hospital. Since childhood, Phil says he has always been fascinated by anything related to health care. “My uncle, who is a nurse, suggested I consider nursing, it made a lot of sense,” says Kenyon. After graduation in June of 2018 Phil started as an RN on the same unit.

Why did you choose HPHA for your placement?

I chose HPHA for my placement for a number of reasons. I'm from the area and I wanted to pursue work near my hometown when I was finished school. Secondly, I really appreciate the rural aspect of HPHA and how the nursing staff, physicians and allied health all seem to work really closely together. I find the smaller hospital units result in more patient-centered and team-oriented care. I also appreciated that HPHA has decent electronic charting for the staff to utilize.

What were some of the lessons you learned during your placement?

During my placement I learned a number of valuable lessons. I was able to develop my time management skills especially with the acts of admitting and discharging patients. I was also able to practice a large variety of nursing skills on a day to day basis as patients had surgeries across the spectrum of body systems. One day it might have been a knee replacement, a hysterectomy or a patient who is palliating. I was privileged to deal with IVs, dressings, other lines and more. On a daily basis we are dealing with medications, discovering a new health concern during our assessments, helping patients improve ambulation, and providing teaching to enable the patient to go home independently. As a student I was able to gain valuable experience in all these realms. Finally, during my placement I learned that as a novice in the field of nursing, you should never be fearful or alone. I learned that there is always a team of other nurses and coworkers to seek advice from. Ultimately, I was able to learn the tremendous value of teamwork.

Over the course of my placement at HPHA I learned to value HPHA and how it functions. I would hear patients and family members commenting on how good their experiences within the hospital were. I enjoy the rural, smaller aspect of HPHA in comparison to the bustling teaching centers in London. By the end of my placement, I felt it would be hard to leave.

Why did you choose to apply and accept a position on the Surgery Unit?

I also chose to accept a position on Surgery because of my experiences there as a student. The staff are amazing and I know starting in this area will allow me to continue to build the many skills needed for my nursing career.

What advice would you give to students?

Never stop asking questions. Nursing is a career in which you will never stop learning and growing. Healthcare is unique in that no person is alike. We all have our eccentricities which means as nurses, we will be presented with new situations on a daily basis. Develop the ability to lean on the nurses around you for advice and support when you are unsure. You will never regret it! Be confident in your interpretations of situations. Remember all the schooling behind you and all the situations you have already gone through. When you enter a situation ensure that you consider what you would do before you consult your preceptor. Nurses love when students come to them for advice, but also come to them with a tentative solution to the problem. Stay humble and kind. As a student and now as a novice nurse I struggle with getting caught up in the task and forgetting about the person in front of you. Never forget take the moment to listen to your patient. Learning to listen is no easy skill to master, but what a valuable nursing skill it is. Keep smiling. When times are tough remember you will get through them. Rest up for your clinical days, study hard and keep looking forward to the goals you have been fighting for since day one. Nursing is an incredible rewarding career.