A group of about 30 Stevenson nursing students visited the University of Maryland R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center on Feb. 22.
Students who were able to visit the trauma center gained valuable information about and experience from working in this environment.
Being engaged in class, studying, and completing assignments are not enough to be successful after graduation. Students have found that networking and getting experience in a field of study is essential.
Amanda Feagon, a registered nurse and tour guide at the University of Maryland Center, said, “It’s extremely beneficial for students to see first-hand what it’s like to work in Shock Trauma.” Though the tour was about an hour long, students were able to see nurses using the skills they are learned in class, including the rooms, equipment, and technologies they will use after graduation. In addition, they were able to hear stories from nurses about what happens at Shock Trauma.
Working in the nursing field can be surprising for new nurses and can be a harsh transition if they don’t get some experience in the field beforehand. For instance, Shock Trauma departments across the nation are flooded with millions of people who were victims of gun violence each year. Feagon said, “It’s beneficial for students to see what it’s like to care for someone who gets rushed into your unit in their golden hour and is fighting for their lives.”
While students learn a great amount of useful information in the classroom, first-hand experience will teach them many other soft and hard skills that the classroom can’t teach.
Erica Feagon, a sophomore nursing student, is currently volunteering at Shock Trauma at UMD. Though her busy schedule didn’t permit her to attend the trip, she said that while working in the Shock Trauma center, “It’s important for students to take tours like these and see what type of work they will be doing in their career.”
Erica Feagon added that her experience so far has been “Exhilarating…In the unit it’s always something happening, and patience come in with all types of problems… Broken bones, crushed body parts from car accidents. Even gunshot wounds. It might sound strange, but it’s exciting for me.”