Current Position: Registered Nurse at London Health Sciences Centre , Neurology/Neurosurgery
Why I chose Western: Western's nursing program is competitive for a reason. It has a state of the art clinical suite equipped with all the tools you need to practice your skills. The program tailors itself to your unique needs with classes small enough that you will be able to get to know your peers and professors and feel comfortable in your learning environment. Clinical placement opportunities for Western students are endless. It was evident to me when meeting counsellors within the nursing program that the staff and professors are dedicated to your success. Need I say more? Last but not least, who wouldn't want to be right next door to one of Canada's largest acute care facilities (London Health Sciences Centre)?
How my Western Experience prepare you for the next steps in your career: The Western nursing program is well thought out. In the first year we focused mainly on interacting with less acute patients and completing basic skills such as vital signs and head-to-toe assessments. You will be shocked at how nerve-wracking it is just talking to a patient about their health care needs. It is crazy how those moments you consider to be "awkward" between you and your patients in first year become completely normal to you by fourth year. The Western program allows you to slowly get your feet wet and as you gain more experience and feel comfortable you are challenged with more difficult procedures/assessments/situations. With every step you are surrounded by experienced nurses, scientists, physicians, professors and allied health professionals who are more than happy to enhance your learning. This is the foundation to grow as a competent RN. The opportunities you have are endless, it is up to you to take advantage of them.
What I find most satisfying about your career choice: Everyday I meet patients who are going through the toughest times of their lives. Although not all endings are happy, when they are it is next to impossible to hold back your tears of joy. To be able to share the beginning of one's life, the end, or anything in between is a privilege. You get to use your critical thinking skills and your humanity to be the primary support for your patient and their family. The most satisfying part of my job is witnessing my patients and their families conquer their challenges and being there for them during what many times is the most difficult time in their lives.
My favourite Western memory: So hard to choose. The day I went to attend my sister's graduation. I was sitting in the audience and reading the program. I glanced at the Health Sciences graduate list and saw my name. I just assumed that when I graduated with my BScN I would also receive my BHSc at the same ceremony. I got up in my capris jeans and grey toms. Ran to UCC rented a gown and barely made it to my own graduation. It was extra special being able to graduate the same day with my older sister. I swear somehow Western knew that I love spontaneity and surprises and didn't fail to make my last hoorah just that.
Best thing about being a student at Western: The best thing about being a Western student is you immediately become part of an amazing community. Purple is your new favourite colour. You are so proud to be part of such a wonderful community you can justify spending $65 on a Western sweater. You meet people from all walks of life, who like yourself are welcomed with open arms.
My advice to future students considering Western Health Sciences: JUST DO IT! Western itself is a world renowned university. The Health Sciences program is no less. Get to know your professors, your classmates and just remember that your years in the program will fly by. Enjoy every second. When you are stressed and overwhelmed and feel alone, I promise you, you are not. Western Health Sciences is challenging, but rewarding. You truly learn how strong you are and your growth from day one to graduation is more than worth your struggles.