For the last four years, The Brooklyn Hospital Center (TBHC) has been hosting its annual Student Nurse Extern Program, which took place June 13 through August 19. Denise Harris, RN, Nursing Education Coordinator (NEC) for ED, explained, "The program was designed to give undergrad nursing students hands-on experience and basic nursing skills". These students are coming from many different colleges, such as Long Island University , New York City Tech, Long Island College Hospital School of Nursing, LaSalle University , LaGuardia Community College , College of Mt. Saint Vincent's, and BMCC (Borough of Manhattan Community College). Ms. Harris added, "The students have been very active in skin care rounds - we have a group that goes on skin care rounds throughout the hospital along with Deborah Wright, RN Wound Care Nurse. They participated in Prevalence/Incident Study, a performance improvement index that TBHC uses to record data for the incidence of pressure ulcers (bedsores) among patients. The students also performed basic duties, such as phlebotomy, EKG's, blood glucose monitoring, and skills they've learned in college, such as ADL (activities of daily living). This is one of the best groups I've worked with in the last several years.they're very enthusiastic, energetic, and do whatever it takes to get the job done. They also observe the nurses doing their daily nursing routine, and they are allowed to assist and/or observe in their care giving procedures." Ms. Harris noted that there are students working in every unit except for the OR & ICU departments. She also pointed out the possibility of a student finding his or her future career at TBHC, as she explained, "During the Extern Program, the students have an opportunity to make connections and become more familiar with The Brooklyn Hospital Center. As a result, they have the possibility of being hired (at TBHC) upon their graduation."
Long Island University SNE Kris-Angelo Natividad said, "The Brooklyn Hospital Center Nurse Externship program has made me a stronger aspiring nurse and stronger individual as well. I am grateful to have worked with very experienced, caring and inspiring nurses at the Cardiac Special Care Unit (6W). I learned a lot about cardiac-related diseases and nursing rationales. In addition, I gained a lot of skills from the program."
Sachelle Ricketts, SNE, College of Mount Saint Vincent, said, "The Student Nurse Extern Program gave me the opportunity to see how influential the role of the nurse is. I was able to observe and assist in the care and treatment of chronically ill patients. The nurses I worked with were compassionate and caring towards the patients. They were very attentive to the patients needs. The staff, both nurses & technicians, was warm and welcoming. They made this experience less intimidating for me; I felt at home with them." Added Alexis Prempeh, "I am assigned to the Emergency Department 11 pm to 7 am shift. I have had a very informative and educational experience, as a nurse and also as a PCA. I have handled multiple patients on ventilators. The patients that arrive in the ED have a multitude of problems. You never know what is coming through the door. I have experiences with patients from a few weeks old to 100 years old. I have gained a great deal of knowledge in critical care, acute care, and general managed care. I am grateful for all that I have learned."
On a final note, Suzanne McFayden, SNE, Long Island University , said, "The Nurse Externship was a very educational experience. Although the program consisted mostly of doing nursing technician work, the nurses on 8B were more than willing to explain the nursing process to me and to show me a few of the nurses' duties. It's one thing to learn it in a class, but to experience it hands-on is a different story. I thank TBHC for allowing me to have such a great experience. I have experienced the ups and downs, but would not trade it for the world. I know in my heart this summer will have made me into a great nurse."