It can be difficult to find where you fit in a workplace. It can be even more difficult if that workplace is in an industry where you’ve never worked.
But that’s just what Graduate Nurse Tech Gail Fisher did when she entered the Student Nurse Internship Program last January at Mercyhealth Hospital – Rockton Avenue campus. Now, more than a year, Fisher realizes it was the first step in discovering the work she truly loved in the place she really belonged.
“I was so fortunate,” Fisher said. “I got to be a part of this great program that gives you a chance to experience what so many areas of nursing. That exposure was so valuable in helping me find my way.”
Mercyhealth’s Student Nurse Internship (SNI) program accepts approximately 50 nursing students on a year-round basis. Students spend 3 days per month shadowing RN’s in a specific unit and then rotate to other units based on their interests or career goals. The objective of the program is to expose SNIs to a wide range of specialties in order to find areas they’re most passionate about.
The SNI program usually attracts younger students; those looking for entry into their first career. Fisher, who has a Bachelor ’s Degree in Psychology from Northern Illinois University and worked for several years as a pre-school teacher and then as a massage therapist.
After observing a number of nursing areas, Fisher discovered her love for the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) because the work “just felt like home.” The close interaction with patients in such vulnerable conditions during post-op recovery or after anesthesia has been administered is what attracted her compared to other departments.
“I simply love what I do,” Fisher said. “Yes, this kind of work can be a challenge, but it’s a pleasure at the same time. I love interacting with patients and those moments when your interactions really mean something to them, that’s so fulfilling to me. I can’t imagine being anywhere else.”
Fisher will become a RN when she completes her bachelor’s later this year.