From Class to Clinic – My Nursing Journey at NYU Langone

Daisy Tso, NUR ’24, Staten Island, NY

This summer, I had the amazing opportunity to work as a student nurse extern at NYU Langone Hospital in Manhattan. Working as a student nurse extern has been an enriching experience that deepened my understanding of nursing care. I was able to apply what I have learned so far in nursing school. During this externship, I had the privilege of shadowing a seasoned nurse on a Medicine unit for 8 weeks, where I learned several hands-on skills such as inserting peripheral IV catheters, drawing blood, and inserting Foley catheters. There were always opportunities to learn and grow. One nursing skill that I had the opportunity to develop was performing a full head-to-toe assessment on my patients. Although I had learned this skill in nursing school, I consolidated my learning by practicing this assessment on all my patients during the externship. A head-to-toe assessment is essential in nursing because it allows nurses to evaluate the overall health status of the patient, detect any changes in the patient’s health, and personalize patient care. Getting to practice this assessment on various patients with different symptoms and presentations allowed me to master this skill. Working on this unit also taught me how to prioritize care, effectively communicate with patients and staff, and resolve conflicts. This experience has allowed me to work closely with patient care techs, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and doctors, since I was a member of the healthcare team working towards providing the best quality care for my patients.

One of the most impactful experiences of this externship was the genuine connections I made with the patients and staff. By demonstrating empathy and engaging with patients on a personal level, I was able to provide compassionate care and gain a better understanding of the patients’ feelings and emotions during their hospital stay. I also truly valued the relationships I built with the staff. Collaboration among everyone on the healthcare team plays a significant role in providing quality patient care. The nurses, nurse practitioners, doctors, and social workers were always in constant communication about their patients to properly address the physical and emotional needs of the patients. All the nurses on the unit were also always willing to help each other and work as a team. This collaboration allowed me to develop my communication skills and showed me the importance of a supportive workplace environment.

Being a student nurse extern at NYU Langone Hospital was an immersive journey that allowed me to merge the knowledge I acquired from nursing school with hands-on experience. This externship reaffirmed my passion for nursing and my ambitions to provide compassionate care to my patients. This opportunity allowed me not only to enhance my clinical skills but also highlighted the importance of empathy and teamwork when providing patient care. I would like to thank Penn Career Services and all of the donors who made this opportunity possible.

This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2023 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here

By Career Services
Career Services