One of the unique things about the nursing program here at Norwich University is that we officially begin clinical rotations in the Spring semester of our Sophomore year. I remember when I was going through the process of looking at colleges, this is something that stood out to me. Diving into the actual aspect of patient care is something that cannot be taught from a textbook, and the sooner that you are able to begin, the better!
At NU, the first clinical placement experience you will have is in NR215: Client/Psychological Mental Health Problems. For this particular placement, you will be at an "onsite clinical location", (whether it be UVMMC, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Vermont Psychiatric Hospital, etc) for 7 weeks, the other 7 weeks are spent through activities of immersion.
Activities of what? That was my first thought! I was really taken back and confused as to what I would actually be doing for the first seven weeks of the semester. As it turns out, as students, we are essentially placed on auto-pilot and are tasked with attending a minimum of four different self-help therapy groups to expand our knowledge of the topics we might be working within the clinical setting.
After a quick web search, I was able to find out about several therapeutic groups all around the Northfield/Barre area that meet the requirements and are open groups to the public. My goal for attending these sessions is to leave with a greater understanding of the available therapies to furthermore have the awareness to be able to educate my patients in the future about opportunities that are local to them.
I have an optimistic outlook on these immersion experiences, and I cannot wait to reflect on my experiences!