Thursday, January 31, 2013

Library Liaison for Nursing Students

I would like to let all of my fellow nursing classmates know about the Library Liaison for Liberty University Nursing Students. His name is Rory Patterson and, as a former employee of his, I can say that he is great at answering nursing research questions.

Mr. Patterson is usually in the Nursing lounge Tuesdays 1030-1100. He has a sign on his laptop lid (facing out) that says “Liaison Librarian”. If you have questions about how to find a resource in the Library or a journal article, he will be more than happy to help direct you to the appropriate databases.

Rory Patterson takes appointments upon request. His email is rlpatterson2(at)

I know you will find Mr. Patterson a great resource as he has provided me with guidance numerous times in the research I am conducting for my Honors Thesis.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


When school first began a couple of weeks ago, I struggled with not feeling like my heart was in what I was doing. I felt like I hadn’t even had a break even though I spent three weeks at home relaxing and spending time with my family. That said, while I was reading 2 Chronicles for my Bible intensive, I came across this passage in chapter 31, verses 20-21:

Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and faithful before the LORD his God. And every work that he undertook in the service of the house of God and in accordance with the law and the commandments, seeking his God, he did with all his heart, and prospered.

The context of this verse is that King Hezekiah had been restoring the order of the Temple of God in Jerusalem. He had cleansed the land of evil things and led the nation of Judah in revival, turning their hearts away from idols and back to Jehovah. What is remarkable is not only that he did this, but that he did it “with all his heart” (vs. 21). Not only did he keep the commandments of the Lord, but he sought the Lord unreservedly. Because of this, the Lord prospered Him.

This is a reminder to me that whatever I do, even the littlest things, I should do with all my heart just as Hezekiah did “every work” with his whole heart (vs. 21). I believe if we choose to do our assignments and the tasks the Lord has given us wholeheartedly, God will bless us just as He blessed Hezekiah for his faithfulness. We see this is true many places in Scripture. One that comes to mind is Matthew 6:33 which says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”. As the semester continues, let’s keep in mind the promises of God and the lessons we can learn from the lives of the men and women of God who have gone before us. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Tools for Clinical Success: Notebook and Clipboard

I would like to take the time here to provide recommendations to the sophomore class in regards to what you should bring with you when you begin your clinicals this semester.

The first item is a small notebook. One that fits in your pocket is perfect for taking quick notes, especially when your patient, nurse, or CNA asks you to do several things. I have also found using a small notebook as a great way to keep track of the vitals I take for several patients.

The other item is a clipboard. Last year I purchased a clear plastic clipboard from Walmart that works perfectly. I am able to wipe it down easily with a Cavi-Wipe if it gets dirty as well as hold several documents such as patient profile, assessment sheet, check-off sheet, and notes from my instructor simultaneously. Staying organized is important and is a mark of clinical excellence.

Richmond Experience

I would like to draw the attention of all my sophomore readers to the wonderful opportunity provided by the Richmond Program also known as the Richmond Experience. This program provides Junior Nursing Students at Liberty University with the privilege of completing Pediatric (Peds) and Medical Surgical (Med Surg) clinicals at Bon Secours' St. Mary's Hospital in Richmond, VA. Students who are accepted into the program complete all of their Med Surg and Peds clinicals in five weekends during either the fall or spring semester. These weekends start on Thursday when students collect their patient information. Clinicals occur on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Each weekend students work one 8-hour and two 12-hour shifts. This makes for a long weekend, but students only have clinicals half of the weekends and are off the other half.

At this point you might be wondering, why would I want to drive two hours to go to Richmond for clinicals? The benefit of participating in the Richmond Program is that you are able to gain more inpatient pediatric experience. St. Mary's pediatrics department provides care to a greater number of  high acuity Peds patients. This means there are more opportunities for hands-on learning experiences. Participating in the Richmond Experience also gives students the opportunity to work in another medical facility and work with another charting system. These are just some of the benefits of the Richmond Program. Stay tuned for future posts about what I love about St. Mary's Hospital as I will begin my clinicals there soon.

If you are a sophomore and are interested in the Richmond Experience, here's what you need to know. Applications for the Richmond Program are due no later than March 15, 2013. To apply to the Richmond Experience you need to follow the instructions provided on the Liberty University webpage.  Make sure to give your instructors the evaluation form as soon as possible since they may take some time before they are able to complete the form for you. Keep in mind this is a highly competitive program; it is to your advantage to apply early.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Praying with Patients

As nursing students at Liberty University, we have all heard our professors talk to us about providing spiritual care to our patients. One of the aspects of spiritual care that our instructors have emphasized is praying with our patients. I know some of us find the idea of praying with patients to be highly intimidating. But I would like to share from my own experience that praying with patients is not scary at all.

Ever since I started clinicals last year, I have made it a habit to pray with my patients at least once during my shift. I ordinarily wait until the end of my shift to ask my patient if I can pray with them because, at that point, I have developed a trusting relationship with them. I usually tell my patient that I make it a habit to pray with all my patients before I leave; I ask if they would like me to pray with them, and they are almost always happy that someone cares about them enough to take time out of their busy schedule in order to pray with them.

Now you might be wondering, what if the patient says they don’t want any prayer. In that case, you should respect the patient’s wishes and drop the subject. Even though there is always the possibility that your patient will say no, I have found that the response from patients has been overwhelmingly positive.

All things considered, I encourage you to make a habit of praying with your patients. It is just one more way we can be the hands and feet of Christ as we serve our patients in the clinical setting.