If you are currently in a University studying to be a Registered Nurse, then you may want to “chart” these tips as you progress through your program.
You should refer to my previous CDI blog post for new grads >>> how best to showcase your education. Here, I’ll encourage those in nursing/healthcare-type post secondary programs to capitalize on practicum placements.
As you work through each placement, note the total number of hours worked, hospital name, number of beds, and the type of facility (e.g. children’s hospital, primary/secondary care hospital, teaching hospital, medical clinic, long-term care facility, home for the aged, etc.).
Mention the nature of sicknesses, diseases, injuries, mental health disorders you gained exposure to, including the typical age range of patients. This can be beneficial later on if you prefer to work with geriatrics over obstetrics for example.
If you did shift work, indicate the length of shifts and if they were rotating.
Share any special skills that you learned. (e.g. dressing changes, taking vital signs etc.)
Don’t forget to leverage your soft skills. This could range from patient education, to dealing with family members to answering questions, sharing resources, or even translating for patients.
One of the valuable parts of your educational journey is that your experience is built right into it as you go. Unless your previous work experience is extremely relevant, omit it or keep it brief and very generalized.
Here are a couple of sample practicum placements…
- Happy Manor, City, Province – Completed 260 hours at this 120-bed long-term care complex with most patients having dementia. Provided the full scope of care and charting from feeding and dressing to bathing and wound care. Translated frequently for Francophone residents.
- Sunny Shores Hospital, City, Province – Within this Advanced Level II facility, assigned to assist on the Inpatient Surgical Floor. Worked 12-hour shifts totaling 280 hours for the Consolidation portion of the course. Gained hands-on exposure to supporting patients with hip replacements, broken hips, pelvic fractures, broken necks, double amputations, perforated bowels, and hernias along with further complications such as Diabetes.
Although it does not belong on your resume, record your preceptor’s name, position, phone number and email so he or she can be a reference for you in the future.
Good luck as you enter an exciting profession with many specialized job prospects.