Extracurricular opportunities

I can hardly believe Week 6 just ended of Spring Quarter.  Where has the time gone?  And how much more will I have to do before summer arrives?!

This quarter has allotted the Junior nursing students a LOT of freedom.  I love independence; so naturally, this quarter is a good fit for me.  All of my extra time spent usually in the classroom has been replaced with community activities.  It has also warranted the opportunity for me to seek out extracurricular activities.  I have been fortunate enough to venture out to Hood River for the ONA conference, attend Oregon’s Pediatric Nurse Practitioner’s conference at Doernbecher , and also listen in on research week up on the hill.  I have a feeling that seeking out these sorts of extracurricular activities will expose me to not only more nursing opportunities, but also let me expand my knowledge beyond the classroom setting.

One of the sessions at the Oregon Pediatric Nurse Practitioner conference was on the topic of poverty.  It was empowering and eye-opening to listen to Dr. Donna Beegle speak about her own struggles living in poverty, and how nurses and other medical personnel alike have the opportunity to treat everyone with dignity and respect.  My favorite points from her discussion included:

  • Treat EVERY human being like they are special.
  • Find common ground- share information, as well as something about you.
  • To communicate in poverty as healthcare provider, get back into a natural way of connecting through emotions/touch/word-of-mouth stories.

This topic could not have come at a better time- three weeks later the Monmouth nursing campus participated in a poverty simulation.  To be able to have this mindset during this simulation was invaluable.  If I hadn’t sought out this extracurricular opportunity, I might not have been as prepared for my campus simulation.

My encouragement to everyone who might have some free time would be to look for these types of opportunities, especially in the summer when school has (hopefully) mellowed out for most– you never know who you might meet at an extracurricular event, or what you might learn that you can someday use in nursing practice.