Sarah Tegeler '20 found her dream department during her internship

Mount Mercy students gave @mtmercy Snapchat followers an inside look at their internships. We saw their busy schedules, sat through meetings, met co-workers, and learned why internships are essential. We wanted to know more, so we asked students about the application process, work atmosphere, favorite experiences, and advice for future interns.

Sarah Tegeler ’20│BS NursingSarah Tegeler '20 | BS Nursing

 

MMU: Tell us more about your internship—company, department, etc. What was it like?

ST: My eight-week summer internship was through UnityPoint Health, at Finley Hospital in Dubuque, IA., and my title was Student Nurse Intern. I split my time between two departments; for the first four weeks I was in the Family Birthing Suites (OB) where I got to practice my maternal nursing skills during the night shift. I got a lot of practice with fetal monitoring strips, newborn assessment, and maternal assessment during and after labor. The last four weeks of my internship was spent in the emergency department. This was much faster-paced, and I got a lot of IV insertion practice. Additionally, I was able to work on my focused nursing assessments, bedside charting, and nurse-to-nurse report. At times, the ER was crazy busy, but I got to see a lot of different things in all age groups.

MMU: How did you learn about the internship and what was the application process like (applying, interviewing, etc.)?

ST: I learned about the internship through a family friend first, but I also received an email about this opportunity from Roberta Bean, the administrative assistant in the nursing office.

For this internship, I was required to fill out an application online. Then I was called for two phone interviews; one was just a general phone interview to get more information such as why I was interested in the internship and why I would be a good fit. The other phone interview was more specific to the job. During the second phone interview, I had to answer scenario-type questions about what I would do in certain situations and give examples. Then I was called in for a face-to-face interview. After my interview, I received an offer email.

MMU: Why did you choose this internship? How will it benefit your future career?

ST: I chose this internship because I was able to split my time between two different departments in the hospital. Additionally, I got to choose specifically what departments I wanted to intern in, which was different than most nursing internships where the hospital places you in the units. Before my internship, I knew what two departments I really liked, but I was unsure of which one I would want to work in in the future.

This will benefit my future career because it helped me figure out which department I liked better. Additionally, I got a lot of great hands-on experience with IVs in the ER, which is something a lot of nursing students do not have a ton of prior to graduation. This will give me a head start when beginning my nursing career.

MMU: How would you describe the work atmosphere in five words?

ST: Fast-paced, educational, spontaneous, hospitable, and enjoyable

MMU: What was your favorite experience while taking part in your internship? The most surprising?

ST: My favorite experience was getting to experience the birth of babies. It was amazing to see the love and emotions in the room after the birth. Other than that, some of my favorite experiences were when things that I had learned started to click in my brain while I was doing them. It was really cool to get to apply my knowledge and have “aha” moments. Overall, my internship was an amazing experience.

The most surprising experience that I had was when a patient came in having a heart attack and the staff was able to get the patient from the door up to surgery in less than a half hour—this is extremely quick! I was surprised at how many people were running around to help or get thingsSr8ss and how organized everything was with so many people.

MMU: What did you learn from this internship that you didn’t know before? What skills did you acquire during this internship?

ST: Something that I learned about myself from this internship is that I really enjoy working in the emergency department. I was unsure if I would like it, but it turns out that it’s my favorite! Another thing that I learned from this internship that I didn’t know before is how to manage my time as a nurse. During clinicals, we only get one patient at a time so there is not a lot of time management practice. I also learned how to do an EKG on a patient and improved my cardiac monitoring strip reading. I also learned patient education skills and got more comfortable with communicating with patients from a nursing standpoint.

MMU: Do you feel like internships are important? Why?

ST: I feel like internships are important because they expose you to more hands-on experience and show you what it’s like in the real world. Additionally, internships help you get your foot in the door and help you make connections. Many companies are more likely to hire a student after an internship with them because the company knows the student’s work ethic and whether the student will be a good fit for the job. Likewise, working for a company as an intern can help you decide if you like that field of work or not.

MMU: What advice would you give to future MMU interns?

ST: The advice that I would give to future MMU interns is to ask lots of questions! There are no dumb questions to ask and the more questions you ask, the more you will learn. Also, do not be afraid to get in there! Internships are meant to be hands on, not just observation, so learn and do as much as you can.

  

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