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Name: Bethania Gonzalez

Title: Student Nurse
Company: N/A, ELM Student at Azusa Pacific University San Diego Regional Center
Company address:
Kaiser Permanente
5201 Ruffin Road
San Diego, CA 92123
Company phone: (619) 528-5437

Q: How did you become interested in this career?

A: I had previously considered nursing during my first semester in college but did not chose to
pursue this route due to long wait-lists. During my last semester in college I was exposed to the
medical field through a friend and became fascinated with the field. I always knew I wanted to
work in a helping profession, and as I entered the work force I realized I wanted a profession that
would also provide me with the opportunity to be constantly learning, and that was flexible.

Q: What are the aspects of this career that you like ?

A: I enjoy that you get to care for people, and be with them through hard times. I love that
nursing can take you just about anywhere; you can be a Med-Surg nurse one year and decide to
transition into a different area such as Labor & Delivery, Operating Room, or Intensive Care
without having to get new credentials, if at all. You can work in many different environments. I
also like that a full time position usually only requires you to work 80 hours every two weeks,

which are distributed in many cases into 12 hour shifts. This means you only work 3-4 days a

Q: What are the aspects of this career that you dislike?

A: Probably the amount of stress that comes with the job. In the acute care setting, you never
know when there will be an emergency or when you will have a very busy day due to patient
conditions. In other words, it is an unpredictable environment and that can cause some anxiety.

Q: Which classes or training did you take in college?

A: I actually completed an Accelerated BSN program that has an option to continue on and
receive your MSN in a track of your choice (NP, nursing administration, nursing education, etc.).
In order to be accepted into the program it is required that you already have a bachelor's degree.
As prerequisites, I took 2 chemistry courses, physics, anatomy and physiology, statistics,
research, psychology, and human development. My course work included two semesters of
medical-surgical training, health assessment, pharmacology, nutrition, mental health nursing,
restorative nursing, maternal and newborn health, pediatrics, community nursing, advanced
medical-surgical nursing, bioethics, nursing research, scientific writing, and leadership. I
received training in motivational interviewing and obtained a certificate as a Care Transitions
Coach. I have two at home patients with chronic conditions that I am following for one year,
which allows me to see first hand the hardships these patients experience. I also became certified
in BLS, ACLS and plan on getting my PALS and NRP in April.

Q: Is there opportunity for advancement in this career field?

A: Yes! A lot of opportunities. You can become a charge nurse, a manager, specialize in a
different nursing field, or obtain a higher degree and practice in an advanced nurse role such as a
nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, clinical nurse specialist, nurse educator,
nursing professor etc.

Q: Can you describe your daily work?

A: This really depends on the unit you're in, but in general you follow the nursing process. In the
hospital you arrive to your shift about 30 minutes before then you see what your patient
assignment is. Then you can look up your patient's information such as their medical history,
current labs, chief complaint, and medications ordered. Within the first 30 minutes of your shift
you will receive report from the nurse(s) who previously had your patient(s). They will probably
give you a good idea of what the plan for the day is and if they have any concerns. After getting
report you go introduce yourself and assess your patients. Medications are usually due at 0900 if
you work the morning shift, so this would be your next task if you're on the nursing floor. During
the rest of the day you perform the doctors orders, for example a wound dressing change, or
preparing your patient for a procedure. The nursing role is very flexible and you respond to the
condition that is presented. For example, if a patient's potassium is low, and the doctor has not
ordered any potassium you need to call the doctor or mention this when s/he is rounding the
patient. You need to constantly be double checking everyone's work to make sure no harm is
being done to the patient.

Q:Which skill do you think is the most important to perform for this job?

A: Probably assessment and your ability to communicate it. You are constantly assessing your
patients and making sure things are progressing as expected. For example, if you see there is a
new heart dysrhythmia you need to call the doctor etc.

Q: How many hours do you work a day? How many days a week?
A: Typically, 12 hr days 3-4 days/week

Q:If you are hiring a person for this job, what would you look for?
A: Attention to detail, great time management, BSN degree or higher, bilingual, desire to learn,
able to take constructive criticism, efficient, leadership abilities, and that they are committed to
the organization.

Q: Was it difficult to find your first job in this field?

A: Finding your first job is always hard in any field. I think this depends on how flexible you are
regarding the field of nursing you would like to enter and your willingness to move out of the
city or state. It really helps if you have previous experience as a CNA, EMT, or other type of
hospital position.

Q: What is your advice for someone who is interested in this field?

A: Start volunteering at a hospital where you think you would like to work, or somewhere close
to home. You can also consider getting your CNA, so you can learn more about patient care and
foster relationships where you work. Get to know the nursing managers where you volunteer or
work as a CNA because they often have a say on who gets hired on to their unit. Seek to talk to

as many nurses as you can in the fields you think you're interested in. Keep a high GPA and take
the prerequisite courses. If you find a nursing school where you would like to attend, try talking
to a student who currently goes there or recently graduated, so you can know what to expect.
Nursing is hard physically, mentally and emotionally, especially when you're brand new to the
profession. Therefore, you must be prepared to be resilient and never give up!