News & Media

Encouraging Education in Rural Emergency Departments

March 05, 2024

The Emergency Department team at our Clinton Public Hospital site has been providing a great new learning opportunity with the addition of student placements for the 2023/2024 school year.  With these placements, and the welcoming of some new team members, we are hopeful that interest in rural emergency nursing will continue to expand.

We asked two of our clinical extern students, Jaden and Megan, some questions about their placements and their experience in Clinton.  Jaden, who is also a clinical extern at our Seaforth Community Hospital site, was in placement in the Fall of 2023. Megan, who was also a clinical extern on our Maternal Child Unit at Stratford General Hospital site and Inpatient Unit at St. Marys Memorial Hospital, is currently completing her placement in the Winter 2024 semester. 

Jaden in the Emergency Department 




What school do you go to?

Jaden: Conestoga College, collaborated with McMaster University (Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program).

Megan: Western University

What made you request a placement in the Emergency Department at Clinton Public Hospital?

Jaden: I always knew I wanted to work in a small town rural hospital. Completing a placement at Clinton Public Hospital, I felt, would provide me with the opportunity to interact loosely with my community and gain a deeper understanding of rural nursing. Working in a rural Emergency Department would enable me to practice a wide range of skills, care for patients with a variety of needs and gain valuable experiences to assist me in my future nursing career.

Megan: I have always been drawn to the Emergency Department and I wanted experience working in a rural hospital. There is a sense of community at small hospitals due to strong bonds between team members. I was confident I would be welcomed at Clinton Public Hospital and that my learning would be prioritized.

What are some of the things you have learned/are learning while in this placement?

Jaden: While at this placement, I learned many valuable skills and lessons. I have improved my time management skills, learned how important organization and prioritization are in the Emergency Department, gained a variety of hands-on skills, and enhanced my critical thinking abilities. I learned how to communicate effectively with all members of the Emergency Department, patients, and their families. Furthermore, learning how to adapt and respond to new situations in the Emergency Department was the most challenging but also the most rewarding, as it helped me to expand my nursing knowledge and expertise in a variety of specialties.

Megan: I have learned to be confident in my nursing skills, such as triaging patients and inserting IV catheters. I have enjoyed communicating with many different patients and learning how to create a welcoming environment for all patients.

What was/is your favourite thing about the Clinton Public Hospital  Emergency Department?

Jaden: The team was very supportive throughout my placement and always encouraged new learning opportunities. I have been very fortunate to have this opportunity. It enabled me to see a variety of cases and conditions, and, therefore, practice many different skills, which has allowed me to gain valuable experiences that will enhance my future career as an RN.

Megan: The staff have been so kind to me. They welcomed me with open arms and have treated me as an important part of their team. I am grateful for all they have taught me and for making my final placement such an amazing experience.

If you could offer any advice to students or new graduates who are interested in rural emergency nursing, what would it be?

Jaden: Jump at every opportunity/skill, ask questions, and keep your knowledge and skills up to date. In the Emergency Department, you never know what is coming through the door. Ensuring your knowledge and skills are up to date can help prepare you and give you confidence to assist your colleagues in caring for patients. Ask for/accept constructive feedback, as it will assist you in improving your performance and productivity. And lastly, you do not know everything, nor are you expected to know everything, as nursing is a constant journey of learning and growing!

Megan: Be confident in your capabilities as a nurse. You have the ability to make a tremendous difference in rural Emergency Departments, as extra helping hands are always needed. You have the ability to create a positive impact on the community.

Our Clinton Public Hospital Emergency Department team has really enjoyed working with Jaden and Megan and cannot wait to see what they do in their future careers (that we hope will be at HPHA)! The team is also looking forward to welcoming more students in the next school year.