AT THE TIME OF THIS INTERVIEW KIERA WAS A STUDENT RN IN UPPER MICHIGAN. SHE HAS SINCE GRADUATED.
What is your title?
Kiera: I’m a student RN, Bachelor of Science nursing student at Northern Michigan University.
How many years of experience do you have?
K: I started my clinicals there two years ago.
What made you want to go into nursing in the first place?
K: I always liked science in High School, and I love caring for and interacting with people. Nursing incorporates both of those. I love that I chose it because I feel like I’m making a difference. It’s so motivating but it’s so scary at the same time. I just want to save someone’s life.
What is your favorite part about your job?
K: How much learning I'm doing. A day does not go by where I don't learn something new.
What is your least favorite part about your job?
K: It is very exhausting. 12-hour shifts are just draining and your feet hurt.
Do you work day or night shifts?
Are you a morning or night person?
K: I feel like I am a balance between the two but if I had to choose I’d say morning.
What is something that you can't make it through a shift without?
K: Coffee and snacks. A lot of nurses do not eat but that is not me, I would get so hungry.
What are your favorite snacks to bring to work?
K: Something easy to easy like a granola bar or apple.
We talked about what drink you need to make it through your shift, but what is your drink of choice to wind down after a shift?
K: Usually I'll do chamomile tea at night.
What is your favorite quote?
K: “Whatever you are, be a good one.” - Abraham Lincoln
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
K: I get there at 6:45 am, then I’ll find a nurse to work with. I see what patients are there and what seems interesting to me, approach the nurse and ask to shadow them. We get report from the night shift. Gather and do a huddle where we talk about new implementations and all that jazz. Then we do assessments, vitals and meds throughout the day. We do assessments at noon, 2pm and 4pm, vitals are every 2 hours in the ICU. I take lunch at 11:30-noon even though I’m hungry by like 10. After we wrap up with the nurse I do some extra knowledge work, help other nurses if they need it too. Then we meet with the instructor every day after our shift to talk about what went well and what didn’t.
What are some items that you use on a daily basis that your workplace provides for you?
K: They don't provide much.
What are some other things that you use on a daily basis that they don't provide for you?
K: I have my own stethoscope, scissors and light. That’s pretty much what I bring.
Are you working in an area with Covid risk?
K: Last week there was a Covid patient admitted. As a student I’m not technically allowed to take care of them because of the contract we have with Northern, but the nurse I was showing was taking care of them. Outside of the hospital, I do work at a nursing home once in a while which is high risk.
Do you work around infectious fluids on a regular basis?
How do you currently protect yourself from those infectious fluids?
K: It depends on what the precautions are; contact, droplet or airborne. Mask, face shield, sometimes you have to gown up, shoe covers and netting that goes around your hair. Also, I always wear gloves.
Has you ever had an incident at work that impacted your safety?
K: No, I have not fortunately.
Do you clean your work shoes while you're at work at all?
K: Not while I'm at work.
Do you worry about infection transportation within the hospital, patient to patient, from your shoes?
K: I haven’t thought about it actually, just because I haven't gotten infectious fluids on my shoes yet.
Do you wear the same shoes home that you wear to work?
K: I do wear them home.
Do you bring your work shoes in the house when you get home?
K: I take them inside and leave them at the door.
Do you have any routines between when you get home from work before interacting with the other people in your home?
K: I leave my shoes at the door then take my scrubs off. I don't typically shower unless I feel really gross because I have soccer practice every night. I’ll wash my hands, then eat or do whatever else.
Do you worry about bringing infection home from work?
K: All of my roommates have had Covid, so I don’t really worry about that now, but if I was still living at home with my family it would be more of a worry.