An Interview with Rebecca, RN

"I love the people that I work with. The staff is wonderful and we support each other." Rebecca, RN
Q: Rebecca, what do you do for a living?
A: I'm an RN and I work in the general medicine geriatrics department at UW Hospital.
Q: How long with have you been with the Hospital?
A: Two years. I was also a student nursing assistant for two years while I was in school at the University of Wisconsin.
Q: What it is like working at an academic medical center like UW Hospital and Clinics?
A: I think that you definitely get a more challenging experience. The patients are often critically ill, so you get a lot of experience and see more acute conditions. You work with the physicians and pharmacists - a lot of different people and professions - and they are always willing to help you.
Q: What would you say is the most challenging thing about your job?
A: Since we are general medicine, you come to work not knowing what specific patients and diseases you are going to see. So I would say the variety of patient populations is the most challenging element of my job.
Q: Why did you become a nurse?
A: I wanted to care for patients and contribute to the progression toward recovery. It's so wonderful to see the difference between when they come into the hospital - some of them are so ill - and when they leave and are feeling so much better.
Q: Do you like your position in your unit?
A: I love my work. Like I said, it's a challenge every day. We have a diverse patient population, so it's never one specific thing. And I love the people that I work with. The staff is wonderful and we support each other.
Q: Did you have any preconceptions of what a nursing career would be like before you started? Is it what you expected?
A: I would have to say it's a lot more challenging but also more rewarding.
Q: You went though the internship program. What did you think of that experience?
A: I loved it. I think every hospital should have an internship for new graduates. It helped me to gain expertise in my field. The interns were with a preceptor for four months, so you can develop, and then you are ready to be a competent nurse on your own.