Fourth year Bachelor of Science students Kaity Gervais (Cambrian College) and Dylan Marassato (Laurentian University) thought they were starting a normal three-month nursing placement at the CCAC last February. But after just a few days on the job, they quickly discovered that the role of home and community care nurses is far from typical!
"With this being Kaity and Dylan's final nursing placement, it was important for us to give them the full experience," explains Rhonda Ferguson, Training and Development Specialist. "They participated in general orientation; joined other rookie Care Coordination staff in various training sessions; and learned the ropes from not only their primary preceptors but also other specialized nursing teams providing care to our patients."
The students were fortunate to be able to put their training into practice, accompanying their preceptors on home visits, inputting information to the CCAC's electronic client health record system and assisting with patient assessments.
They also learned about the North East CCAC's specialized nursing programs, and had the opportunity to spend time with members of the school-based Mental Health and Addictions team, Enterostomal (wound care)Therapy nurses, Nurse Practitioners and the Rapid Response team. In addition, the pair gained a service provider perspective by going on home visits with nurses employed at Bayshore and We Care.
"I really enjoyed being able to practice with a different nursing team every week and have varied experiences within the community setting," says Kaity. "I now feel like I have a better understanding of what the North East CCAC and its partners do."
Veteran CCAC Care Coordinator, Joanne Johnson, says she enjoyed her role as preceptor to her young charge.
"Knowing that I helped Kaity gain better knowledge and understanding of the various roles of a Care Coordinator was definitely my favourite part of this whole experience," Joanne enthuses. "I loved having the opportunity of making her time at the North East CCAC a positive one."
Dylan's preceptor, Care Coordinator Nicole Leduc, couldn't agree more.
"Hands-on learning is critical in the nursing field," explains Nicole. "I think it was a fantastic experience for a 4th year student, like Dylan, to get that level of exposure to the profession. It was quite rewarding in the end, when everything came together and Dylan was able to complete several patient assessments on his own. I was quite proud of him."
So what's next for these two bright lights? First, both students plan on writing their National Council Licensure Examination (RN board exam). Dylan wants to gain more nursing experience abroad and then apply for Medical School while Kaity hopes to work at the North East CCAC as a Rapid Response Nurse or Care Coordinator. Good luck on your respective careers!