Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The craziness of psychiatric clinicals

June 3rd, 2012 by Melissa Nelson '10

Sorry everyone for not updating lately. It has been quite hectic.  I just started a new job and summer classes have begun as well!   Right now I am doing my psychiatric clinicals and all I can say is that it is DEFINITELY different than  any other of my clinical experiences.  It is truly sad and disturbing sometimes the patients that I deal with. The past couple of clinical days have been a bit emotional because you become overwhelmed with the patients and their issues.

I always knew that the mental health system needed to be worked on. But now working with these kinds of patients have really showed me that our mental health system is horrible and that we need to do a lot more to make it better.  As healthcare providers and even as a society, we need to make more of an effort in creating programs that teach people the importance of mental health. We need to learn how to take care of ourselves not only physically but mentally.

I am not fond of this clinical to tell you the truth. However, one positive aspect of this clinical is the fact that  I am able to better my therapeutic communication skills. Therapeutic communication is one of the important aspects of psychiatric nursing. During clinical, I do a lot of talking with the patients and help them to come to terms with their various issues. I teach them coping skills and how to be a productive individual in society.  Hopefully the next couple of weeks will get better.


End of the Semester.. Welcome Summer!

May 8th, 2012 by Melissa Nelson '10

Hey everyone!

Sorry I haven’t written in a while it has been a bit hectic since the end of class and finals. So I am officially done for this semester!! I must say I never knew I would actually <3 pediatrics. I think it is a good idea that nursing school has you go through these various clinicals because it really allows you to figure out what your interests are.

One would think I would be able to relax and enjoy myself, however, that will only last for about 2 more weeks. The summer portion of my program begins. Summer session should be interesting since I will be doing my psychiatric and community health clinicals.  Our schedules are not as heavy in the summer in comparison to fall-spring school year, so hopefully I can do some more sightseeing trips.

So much has happen within the last couple of weeks and spraining my ankle was one of them. I am not really happy especially since this is my 4th sprain 🙁 . I can’t workout in the meantime which is bummer. Slowly but surely, I will start it back up again.  Until then I will relax and take in the nice weather.

P.S. Happy Nurses’s Week! I am glad I am just a nurse 🙂

First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden talk to Penn Nursing!

April 19th, 2012 by Melissa Nelson '10

Last week on Wednesday, April 11th. First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden came to Penn nursing to launch a new initiative in their Joining Forces program. Joining forces is a a healthcare and treatment program for military personnel. It was such an exciting day and event. I was able to attend the event( had really good seats!)and got to shake Ms. Obama’s hand!!!

First Lady Obama and second lady Dr. Jill Biden talked about the importance nurses and advanced nurse practitioners have in making this initiative possible.  This new initiative will help to train nurses and nursing students throughout the US in how to support service men and women.  It was nice to hear how nurses and advanced nurse practitioners have such an important role within the healthcare industry. Ms. Obama stated herself that nurses are one of the few professions that are trusted by society. She emphasized that nurses are the front line of healthcare and it is imperative that the nursing profession be properly trained in various issues service man and women face such as PTSD.  She also encouraged us as a society to not stigmatize PTSD and that PTSD is a normal occurrence especially when veterans have faced the violence of war.

Both First Lady Obama and Second Lady Biden did a wonderful job and I was truly uplifted by their speech.  Both women commended Penn Nursing on their collaboration with the VA system in conducting PTSD research. It is exciting to be apart of an institution that is involved with the most latest and exciting research.   I have included  some photos below.

Nurse Practitioner Panel at HC

March 31st, 2012 by Melissa Nelson '10

Hey everyone! This past Wednesday Liz Farrington, Julia Cambria and I (via skype) had a panel that talked about Nurse Practitioner(NP) as a career.  It was so nice to finally be able to share my experiences with fellows HC students about the NP route and what they need to do to get there. According to Liz, we had a good turn out 🙂  Students asked us a lot of great questions. It was nice to hear how much HC has changed  in order to accommodate students who are interested in other health care profession such as NP, Physician Assistant, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist to name a few. Professor Futterman, Head of the Pre-health program , said that they had 22 NP applications this past year, in comparison to other years where the norm was between 4-8 applications.

Liz and I were talking how jealous we are because HC has also added some courses she and I needed to get into NP school. Course such as Anatomy & Physiology I &II(AP1&2), they have added several additional sections of statistics, as well as microbiology and medical microbiology. When Liz and I were at HC( which is less than 2 years ago), we had to take AP 1 & 2,  microbiology ,  and nutrition at other schools in the Worcester Consortium since HC didn’t offer them. By adding these course only helps to smooth the transition into preparing students for their future careers.

Another interesting aspect is that even though Liz, Julia and I are all in NP school. All our programs are all very different which I think was nice for students to hear.  My program you graduate with a BSN and a MSN .Whereas Liz and Julia’s program you graduate with just an MSN. It was nice to hear their experiences and motivation in attending nursing school. I really feel that it  helped some students in understanding the various paths one can take in order to become an advanced practice nurse.

I am so happy we decided to organize this panel. I will admit it was kind of weird with me skyping into the panel( I live the farthest away from HC in comparison to Julia and Liz who were able to attend in person) but it worked! LOL. My next goal , hopefully, is to get the HC magazine to do a piece about how students at HC are entering various other health professions such as the ones mentioned before.  I feel a piece like this would reach out to other HC alumni who went a similar route.  These alumni  probably would love to be an additional resource for current HC students who are interested in these healthcare fields.  We shall see 🙂

Hello world!

February 13th, 2012 by Melissa Nelson '10

Hey everyone!!! I am excited to be blogging about my experience  as a student in an accelerated direct-entry advance practice nursing program.  So where should I begin?   I graduated HC in May of 2010. I was very involved with numerous organizations. I was BSU Co-Chair  and Co-Chair of the Haiti Relief Initiative my senior year.  Worked in Residence Life & Housing for 3 years as an RA. I was a student member of the Holy Cross Alumni Association for my junior and senior year. I was a Peer Mentor  in the Peer Mentoring Program my junior and senior year. I am also a recipient of the Presidential Service Award, an award that is given to nine seniors for their contributions to the college and greater worcester community.

Currently I am at the University of Pennsylvania Nursing School where I am in their accelerated BSN/MSN program where I am studying to become a nurse-midwife. I am also a Graduate Associate in one of the college houses at UPENN.  My story of why I wanted to become a nurse-midwife is an interesting one however, that will be my next post because I have an event that I need to get going to!  Stay tuned 🙂