Carlow’s Perioperative Internship: Personal Stories: Hayley’s Journey from Novice to Expert

While the Perioperative Internship Program offers a structured learning environment, it’s the personal experiences of instructors and students that truly bring the program to life. Here, we share an inspiring narrative from a past intern, highlighting the profound impact of this program devoted to the future of nurses on their journey to a career in perioperative nursing. This is Hayley’s story:

In the summer of 2016, I had the opportunity to be a part of the inaugural group of interns in the Perioperative Internship Program. As I stepped into the world of the operating room for the first time, I was admittedly clueless about what to expect. Little did I know that my journey was about to be shaped by an unforgettable series of experiences that would profoundly impact my career in nursing.

I vividly remember my very first day, filled with a mixture of anticipation and nervous excitement. As I walked into the OR 13, my eyes fixated on an intricate surgical procedure involving the delicate intricacies of the human brain. It was an awe-inspiring moment that etched itself into my memory forever. The environment pulsated with a sense of urgency, precision, and dedication to patient care. Despite the initial shock, I found myself drawn to the close proximity to human anatomy and the intricacy of the surgical team.

What truly captivated me, however, was the unwavering support and willingness of the staff to impart their knowledge. From seasoned surgeons to dedicated nurses, everyone I encountered was not only passionate about their work but also committed to nurturing the next generation of healthcare professionals. Their guidance and patience helped me navigate the complexities of the OR, instilling in me a deep appreciation for the art and science of surgical nursing.

My love affair with the OR didn’t end with the conclusion of the internship. Fueled by my newfound passion, I sought to immerse myself further in this dynamic environment. I was fortunate enough to secure a position in the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital OR, where I continued to expand my knowledge and expertise. It was here that my role as a preceptor for the Perioperative Internship Program began, allowing me to pay forward the invaluable guidance and support that had once been bestowed upon me.

Working alongside Joanne, a seasoned educator and mentor, I discovered the profound joy of guiding aspiring nurses through their own transformative journeys. Witnessing their growth and development was immensely fulfilling, and it solidified my commitment to not just the field of surgical nursing, but also to the nurturing of future healthcare professionals.

As the years went by, I continued to be an active part of the program, assisting Joanne in teaching the course and contributing to the growth of numerous interns. And then, in the summer of 2023, an opportunity arose for me to step into the role of an instructor myself. It was a full-circle moment that summarized the significance of the program in my own journey. The Perioperative Internship Program had not only shaped my career but had also helped me find my true calling within the field of nursing.

The Perioperative Internship program offers a thrilling, immersive, and transformative learning experience that not only equips nursing students with essential skills and knowledge but also plays a pivotal role in shaping their future careers. This program is a gateway to the world of surgical nursing, offering insights, mentorship, and experiences that will stay with students throughout their professional journey. So, if you’re a nursing student ready to embark on a journey of discovery, consider exploring the world of perioperative nursing through this remarkable program. Your career may thank you for it.

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