Nursing Major Interned at Mayo Clinic

Mon, 2008-12-08 10:17 -- univcomm
December 8, 2008

As a young girl, Sarah Walker had visited the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. She knew early on it was a place she belonged and wanted to work at in the future. For Sarah, that dream became reality when she was one of 140 accepted out of 600 applicants to serve as a Summer III nursing intern.

"Mayo Clinic is the number two hospital in the nation and known internationally as a prestigious hospital," said Sarah. "It is place I always wanted to work." [Photo on right: Sarah Walker with Clinical Coach]

The Summer III nursing internship program offered at the Mayo Clinic is available between nursing major’s junior and senior years in school. Applicants have to not only submit a 12 page application, but also provide information on their resume, previous clinical experiences, and areas of interest.

After being accepted, the 10-week course consisted of 2 weeks of orientation followed by 8 weeks of one-on-one time with a clinical coach of twelve hour shifts, thirty-six hour weeks.

"We worked as a team with our clinical coach so we were still submerged in nursing and performing tasks but learning alongside a professional as well," said Sarah.

On her first day, Sarah recalls working with the family of an overdose patient and being “out of her element." Much of the day she remembers just standing back, observing and not knowing how to properly interact and respond with the family. [Photo on left: Tour of Mayo1 Helipad]

In contrast, on Sarah’s last day she felt so comfortable working that she helped a new Registered Nurse beginning orientation transfer a patient out of the ICU. At the end of the day, the nurse asked questions to Sarah as she responded, "Don’t ask me; I’m just a Summer III intern." In return, the nurse said she thought Sarah was an RN. She knew then she had chosen the right field after learning so much in so little of time. "By the end of my Summer III experience, I felt comfortable working with patients and families and functioning as an important part of the health care team."

Offered a job in the Medical ICU after graduation, Sarah has an important decision to make in January. She is not only a nursing major, but also minoring in violin performance. After graduation, she hopes to expand her studies to the music medical research field. Sarah applied in October for the Fullbright Scholarship in Finland to exclusively study music from September 2009 to May 2010.

"Being offered the job in the medical ICU was a true honor because many are not offered jobs after interning," said Sarah. "Fortunately, it is a job offered to me whether I decide to study in Finland next fall or ready for me when I graduate."

"My career goal is to provide basic nursing care and also perform research in pioneering new methods of the therapeutic use of music in providing care for both patients and members of the health care team. I plan to compare this research with cross-cultural research and spread musical joy and passion around the world."

Stefanie Leiter is the Web Content Manager at Anderson University.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,750 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.