Scholarship Finalist - Engee Lee

How the Use of Practi-Products and Medical Simulation Have Enhanced My Education

Engee Lee

Engee LeeLong, long ago, approximately 1 year and 3 months ago to be exact, when I was a first year nursing student, I remember we were required to spend multiple hours few times a week to be in a air-conditioned room on the first floor of our Nursing School to engage in what “outsiders” might refer to as high-risk behaviors.

These activities consisted of drawing up ambiguous clear and cloudy fluids from various vials with syringes with a needle anywhere from ½ inch to 1 inch in length, and we injected them into rubbery pads that mimicked the integrity of human flesh. Little did we know what we were getting into.

A year and 3 months later, I look back on the progress that I have made into my nursing career and chuckle at the thoughts and all the “what ifs” that clouded my head when I first picked up my syringe and approached a client to give them their pre-meal subcutaneous Insulin injection during clinicals. Suddenly it downed upon me. I cannot believe I am already a senior nursing student more than halfway into finishing nursing school, ready for graduation and preparing to encounter my nemesis, the formidable N-CLEX.

As I think back and pause, in the midst of studying for my four exams, sitting in the bookstore in front of my books and sipping on my fourth cup of double shot espresso from Starbucks to prevent my eyelids from prolapsing in front of each other; I can’t help but thinking how much progress I have made. If it wasn’t for those long hours in the simulation lab rehearsing the five rights of drug administration a million times utilizing the syringes, vials, injection simulation pads, mannequins, taking vital signs as well as endeavoring to somehow prevent the patient from going into cardio-pulmonary arrest during one of the make believe scenarios that our devious lab instructors concocted, I would have never made it through the first year of nursing school and be as comfortable as I am now of administering medications, hanging piggy-back I.V. Bags and explaining the pathophysiology of Digoxin on the spot in front of my patient.

Recently, I was at clinicals on my unit looking through my assigned patient’s chart squinting and trying to make sense what the doctor had prescribed for my patient, based on his cryptic handwriting, when I heard a voice behind me, “Rocephin, that’s what it says..” I turned around and there stood a Nurse Practitioner. I immediately thanked her for her kindness, (because who knows how long I would have stood there trying to decipher the letters) and wrote it down on my care plan. She smiled and said, “I’ve been there, trust me I know.”

Although I feel like I still have a long way to go until I can throw my gown and cap in the air and officially start my first job as a Registered Nurse, I guess I can go up to the first year nursing students that are struggling in lab and tell them the same, “I’ve been there, trust me I know.”