DCCC holds career seminar for nursing majors

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A student is taught how to use the college’s state of the art simulation lab technology to learn about the bone structure in the human arm. Photo courtesy of DCCC.

By Chaez Miller

DCCC presented a seminar titled “Careers in Healthcare” on April 4 in Room 2185 located in the Academic building. This event, starting at 11:05 a.m. and ending at 12 p.m., featured DCCC counselor Michele Boyle, who informed the growing population of nursing students about careers in nursing and the healthcare industry in general.

Approximately 25 students, including undecided majors, came to this event ready to gain more knowledge about the career paths that they have chosen for themselves. Boyle began her topic with an ice breaker asking the up and coming nurses in the room what being a nurse means to them.

“Being a nurse has always meant more than just a piece of fabric,” said nursing major Paula Chanzi, 25. “It’s about helping people that need help and being selfless enough to give to another human being.”

Chatter around the room could be heard as many people started to share their own opinions in response to the question. Next, Boyle brought in a few guest representatives from each healthcare field to discuss the different types of nurses students could become if they get accepted into a healthcare programs offered at DCCC or the college of their choosing.

The first volunteer that spoke to the class was Lisa Brooks, 25, a nurse at University of Pennsylvania (UPENN) who enrolled at DCCC after graduating from Pennwood High School. Eventually, she became a licensed practical nurse helping people of all ages in the Philadelphia area.

“LPN nurses do a lot of the same tasks as a regular nurse,” Brooks said. “We draw blood, check vital signs, but our jobs as nurses goes beyond regular nurses because as a nurse of the community, it’s my job to have a caring relationship not only with the patient I’m tending to, but also the patient’s family.”

Brooks discussed some of the programs, such as Allied Health that specializes in preparing students fresh out of school for the work field. As allied health majors, students will be able to spend two years at school learning about what it takes to become a LPN nurse in the healthcare field.

Students enrolled in this particular program could also be eligible to receive paid internships and jobs at healthcare facilities or hospitals while they are still studying in school. Many students that were interested in this opportunity started to give their information to Brooks during the discussion and asked what it was like to becoming a working student in allied health.

“Becoming a working LPN nurse while still being a student was probably one of the best choices I made in my life,” Brooks said. “The instructors at DCCC were so helpful and they really invest their time in you if you show them that you are ready to excel in the career of helping save lives.”

As Brooks was speaking, Taijae Southwell, 23, an undecided major, raised her hand and asked Brooks what are some of the challenges she has faced while trying to become a nurse said.

“One of the many challenges I had to face was taking care of a family and still trying to come to school every day and stay on time of everything,” Brooks said. “Nursing requires a lot of your personal times, but if you find a way to balance everything at once you will do just fine in your career path.”

The next representative that Boyle brought to the front of the class was a certified nursing assistant named Maria Austin, 34, a nurse at St. Mary’s Nursing Home. Austin helps people who are elderly and need assistance on a daily basis. Austin discussed how a CNA carries more of a role than a LPN because they give medication to people in need and do a wide range of things like clothing, feeding, and even assembling equipment such catheters and oxygen supplies.

As she began to speak, members of the seminar asked Austin why she wanted to become an CNA. “Growing up I was able to witness my mother’s loving and caring nature for others constantly while being a CNA nurse,” Austin said. “Then that’s when I knew I wanted to care for people’s every need, whether it was physically or emotionally.”

Attendees of this seminar continued a Q&A with Austin about her job as a CNA nurse and what is it like to work in at a nursing home.

“One of the things that I love about working at a nursing home is that you get to have a one-on-one interaction with the patients you are dealing with,” Austin said. “Unlike a hospital where you might be helping 10 people all at once, nursing homes tend to run at slower paces, making it easy for nurses to do their jobs without making mistakes.”

The last representative was LaToya Edwards a maternity nurse who delivers babies at Lankenau Medical Center in Philadelphia.

“Being a maternity nurse is one of the best jobs that you can have because you get to bring new lives into this world,” Edwards said. “My job as being a maternity nurse is to help provide care to the expectant mother and be able to check blood pressures and heart rates to make sure everything is okay.”

A student from the group asked Edwards what was one of the toughest things she had experienced while being a maternity nurse.

“I think one of this toughest things I’ve gone through this far is when an expectant mother lost her child during birth,” Edwards said. “The pain of losing something that you have waited so long for can affect you, but you have to be strong and comfort them.”

As the seminar came to a close, many of the students thanked the presenters and nurses for providing an inside view on becoming a nurse.

“This seminar definitely changed how I feel about the nursing field because it showed me all the hard work and effort you have to put into it,” said nursing major Alexander Crawford, 21. “By attending this workshop I now know what I need to do in order to excel in the career of healthcare.”

Contact Chaez Miller at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu