Learning the Roles of an Inpatient Neuroscience Unit Within the Hospital
Employer: Mercy Health Saint Mary's
Job Title: PCA - Inpatient Intern
Major: Health Professions
Received Credit: Yes
Description of the Organization
The Mercy Health Hauenstein Neuroscience Center works to diagnose and treat patients suffering from a variety of neurological disorders. Clinicians within the Hauenstein Center are nationally recognized neurological experts in Michigan. Physicians here specialize in epilepsy, spine and brain disorders, Parkinson's disease, sleep disorders, stroke, dementia and overall nervous system care. Most commonly, patients in the inpatient unit are admitted due to stroke-related injuries, epilepsy-related problems, or recent spinal fusion procedures due to nerve-associated pain. Much of the core values at Mercy Health Hospital stem from providing care with compassion while focusing on healing the mind, body and spirit.
Description of the Tasks/Projects Completed
As an intern within the Hauenstein Center, I was privileged to provide care for a diverse population of patients suffering from a variety of medical issues. Most of my daily tasks consisted of working with patients by taking vital signs, providing help with daily activities such as bathing and eating, transferring patients to other units in the hospital, taking blood sugars, and learning how to provide specific care for different diagnoses. Through doing this, I was able to learn the roles of different clinicians on the unit and spend time with physicians, physicians assistants, physical therapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, registered nurses, health care managers, and nurse technicians.
Skills/Knowledge Gained Through The Experience
Specifically with patient care, I learned how to take vital signs, test blood sugars, help postoperative patients ambulate within physical therapy guidelines, learn neurological examinations and EKG's, and provide help with in many other daily activities for patients suffering from a neurological disorder or deficit. In relation to the neuroscience unit as a whole, I was able to learn the roles and responsibilities of many types of clinicians. Gaining the knowledge of what each clinician is responsible for within a patient's care helped me realize the importance of working as a cooperative team. Optimal patient care is provided in different ways depending on specialty and job responsibilities, but I have learned that the skills one needs to provide this care is done in similar ways aimed at being a team. I also learned that communication is key to success when it comes to providing patient care. By this, I mean that having the certified skills to care for a patient is one thing, but knowing how to be flexible in working with a broad spectrum of employees and using interpersonal communication skills is key in order to provide great patient experiences.
Favorite Part of the Experience
There is not a single favorite experience that I could pinpoint as being more influential to me than another, but there are a couple overall experiences in which have impacted my journey in becoming a physician assistant. As mentioned before, learning how to communicate in many situations with employees and patients is critical in proving care. Being exposed to so many different specialties and job positions in the hospital has helped assure me that I am on the right path in becoming what I love to do. Learning the roles of many clinicians taught me helpful on-the-job skills, as well as gave me knowledge about what kind of a clinician I myself wish to be.
How the Experience Influenced Future Career Goals
Being exposed to such a great work environment at Mercy Health has enlightened my career and helped me develop life long skills. I learned many necessary skills that are required to become a physician assistant in the hospital as well as how to achieve them. I greatly enjoyed all of the employees at Mercy Health as they were helpful in prioritizing my needs to learn and develop as a student at GVSU.