Nursing school can be described as an experience of continuous learning, consistent workload, and new challenges everyday. As a student who just finished my first semester in the BSN program at Samuel Merritt University (SMU), I was used to being busy during the school year.
So when summer rolled around and the curriculum stopped, I found myself asking, “What now?”
How do I stay active during the summer break while keeping all the knowledge and skills from the previous semester fresh in my mind?
As luck would have it, there are several different fun options to stay active in healthcare during the summer. Here are four ways I keep my mind fresh during summer break:
1. Rock Medicine
Rock Medicine is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing non-judgemental medical care to patrons at events all over the Bay Area, including the Bill Graham Auditorium, Greek Theater, Levi’s Stadium, and many more. This organization consists of healthcare professionals from all fields including nursing students, EMTs, RNs, MDs, and even concert lovers who have their CPR Certification. As nursing students, we take an active role in the clinic working under the direct supervision of RNs and practitioners. Volunteering for Rock Medicine is a great way to keep your hands-on client skills fresh while experiencing real-life situations and sometimes serving as the first point of care in immediate medical emergencies. There is also an added benefit to enjoy the show, if time permits.
As a Rock Medicine volunteer for Future and the Migos concert last month at Shoreline Amphitheatre, I worked alongside other nursing students under the direct supervision of an RN. I provided care to multiple patients by taking vitals, relieving nausea and offering a safe space for them to recover and return to the concert. Getting hands on with patient care in a dynamic environment where anything can happen was a great experience.
2. UCSF Sport Medicine
In partnership with UCSF Sports Medicine, SMU students can volunteer at several marathons and triathlons throughout the Bay Area. During the events, SMU nursing students work alongside MDs and Physical Therapists to provide aid to participants. Depending on the competency of the volunteer, a myriad of skills can be practiced from basic wound care to starting IVs. To find out how you can participate in these events, explore SMU’s California Nursing Student Associations at our instagram (@smu_cnsa) or send us an email at CNSA@Samuelmerritt.edu.
In June, I volunteered at The Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon and provided care to participating athletes alongside MDs and physical therapists. The experience helped hone my skills in an interdisciplinary setting.
3. Healthcare on Social Media
In addition to staying physically active, it’s also fun to follow healthcare-related social media outlets. These different instagram channels can highlight volunteer opportunities, show interesting medical cases, and keep you up to date with the latest news in the healthcare community. Several instagram channels to follow are:
Samuel Merritt University (@samuelmerrittu)
Samuel Merritt CNSA (@smu_cnsa)
Nouha Hassan (@futurenp_)
Nurse Mendoza (@nursemendoza)
Medical Talks (@medicaltalks)
4. Self Care
Finally, it is important to take care of yourself before you continue taking care of others. Whether it’s through staying physically active, diving into hobbies, or exploring the world around us, self-care is a great way to recharge the batteries for the semester ahead.
When I am not immersed in healthcare activities, I’m exploring with my camera at whatever destination I can reach. Having these days to get away and do stuff that I love helps me recharge to be able to give everything I’ve got to help take care of others. Everyone needs their own outlet to decompress, and as long as you are able to do so, it will make a world of difference in reducing the chances of burnout in the long run. Have a great summer, and see you soon!