Summer of 2017 seems like a distant memory now, doesn’t it? We’ve already been back in school for a few weeks and loaded with homework. But some of us worked hard all summer too, furthering our education for our future careers. I’ll admit I enjoyed many days with my toes dipped in the pool and soaking up the sun. My dear friend, Zoey Weber, a student of the class of 2018, was busy saving lives. She made the move to Texas this summer to further her nursing skills and training with a summer internship. Let’s take a look at what she has to say about her experience.
She told me how growing up in Dubuque area and being familiar with the resources around her gave her the opportunity to work at Finley Hospital as a tech in the Family Birthing Suites since high school. She loves the environment she works in and plans to be a labor and delivery nurse at a larger hospital in Texas after graduation. Her dream is to continue her education and become a midwife.
Zoey loves Dubuque, however, she personally feels she would gain more experience in a big city like Dallas or San Antonio. The state of Texas is very dear to her heart. In hopes of pursuing this dream, Zoey applied for multiple nursing internships for the summer of 2017 in Texas. After a little bit of the waiting game, she received a call from St. Luke’s Hospital offering her an interview for a nursing internship. Zoey made the journey to Texas and had a successful interview. She got the internship! The internship was nine weeks long at CHI in St. Luke’s Hospital, which is considered the largest medical center in the United States. She split her time working with a nurse preceptor on the surgical floor and working in the ICU during the second half of the internship.
The excitement, nerves, and readiness for this new adventure filled her. Immediately she began looking for apartments or places to stay. The scary part for her was that she didn’t know many people in Texas and realized she was really her my own making adult decisions. Perhaps she didn’t find the nicest place of them all to stay, but thankfully her best friend gave me a care package with scorpion spray to ward off any creepy crawlers who might want a place to stay in Zoey’s apartment.
Another new experience and somewhat of a challenge for Zoey was the public transportation. The hospital did not have parking for its employees, which meant she would be taking the public train system to and from work. Although public transportation is beneficial, she witnessed some interesting events on the train rides that she does not want to see again.
Maybe there were a few setbacks and things to adjust to, but the internship provided Zoey with such a life-changing education and experience. Who knew one could learn so much over the course of nine weeks? Because she worked in labor and delivery back home, she felt nervous being placed in the oncology unit for the first half of the internship. This hospital, being a medical center, has many trials and many basics that she will need for a career. Zoey expressed how she felt so lucky to be able to learn in this setting. She got to place IVs every day, drew the entire floors lab work every morning, did lots of dressing changes, and much more.
The absolute craziest moment of this internship was when one of Zoey’s patient’s heart stopped while she was alone with the patient! Zoey calmly called a code to get help, but still needed to resuscitate the man with the help of two other CNAs while they waited for the doctor to arrive. They had the patient back to life before the doctor arrived, and it was the most intense moment of Zoey’s nursing career thus far.
Her internship also took a change of course this summer. She planned on moving to the ICU for the second half of the internship, but due to matters out of her control, she instead got offered a position with the rapid response team within the hospital. They assist when there are patients who have heart attacks, strokes, and need resuscitation. So, needless to say, many more intense and educational experiences are now under her belt from the time with the rapid response team.
Zoey is beyond grateful for the experiences she had in Texas at St. Luke’s this summer and learned so much. Now she feels so prepared to do her ER and ICU clinicals with the nursing program at Clarke this fall. There were both trials and tribulations, but she would do this again in a heartbeat. Zoey looks forward to her senior year as a nursing student, and she’s excited to move to Texas after graduation and work as a full-time nurse down south.
Clarke University is proud to have students like Zoey Weber. I am proud to call her my friend.
Unfortunately, right after Zoey returned home from the beautiful state of Texas, Hurricane Harvey hit. It was shocking that the place she lived in all summer and grew to love very much was now under water and mass destruction. If you are interested, please click the link below to donate to the hurricane relief in Texas. Thank you.
By: Megan Kane