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A Student's Perspective: Adjusting to the New Normal

Nursing Student _Header
Sophie Shimansky ’22 is a sophomore obtaining her B.S. from Endicott College’s School of Nursing—like all of us, she misses being on campus—but she’s adjusting to her new normal.
By: Rosemary Poppe

Sophie Shimansky ’22 is a sophomore obtaining her B.S. from Endicott College’s School of Nursing—like all of us, she misses being on campus—but she’s adjusting to her new normal. Nursing students in particular are used to receiving a great deal of hands on experience, either in our labs on campus, or in the field performing clinicals.  While she’d prefer to interact directly with her professors and peers, she says “Everyone is doing the best they can and I really appreciate the effort from the teachers.”

Shimansky has created a comfortable work-from-home space for herself, so that she can stay focused and organized, while taking courses online. She explains that our nursing educators have changed the way homework is assigned and tests are administered, effectively adjusting the learning environment to better suit the needs of its students. She notes that “they record all the lectures and post them later so that we can listen to them again at any time. This is helpful because I can watch the lectures when I feel I’m ready to absorb the information.” 

The nursing educators also created virtual simulations of scenarios that our students might encounter in the field.  Shimansky says, “I think they did a good job with the assignments they came up with, it was helpful to learn specifics about certain diseases/problems. The videos helped us to focus on aspects that we might not always get to cover in clinical, but that are important to know about. I also thought matching the assignment to the units we learned in class was helpful to better understand the material, because it was more like a case study. I appreciated the slides, voiceovers and videos, so we weren’t left on our own to figure it out.”

Looking to blend what she’s learning from home with hands on experience, she’s been “applying to jobs in both the hospital setting and in-home care. It is such a big help to see things first-hand, in the field.” The field of nursing is always evolving, and Shimansky knows that it has already changed greatly since the spread of COVID-19. “I’ve heard from some nurses that treating patients has become more challenging, because patient interaction is more limited now, but is such a large and important part of the job. It just demonstrates how caring nurses are. Many of my friends have been putting their names, or pictures of themselves on their uniforms, to make the patients feel more at ease. It really shows how important kindness can be to a patient’s recovery.” 

Shimansky continues to weigh in on traits that are critical to nurses and optimal patient care. “Compassion is important for patient morale and their recovery. Feeling like the healthcare workers genuinely care about your well-being, and see you as a person rather than a task, is very importantnow more than ever. Expertise is important to provide the best possible care that the patients have a right to, being knowledgeable about the job is vital because incorrect steps can have fatal consequences.”

“Trust is very important on all fronts. The patients must trust that the nurses have their best interests in mind, because sometimes treatment can be painful or a struggle. Trust is also very important between staff members. This ties into expertise, because the staff members need to trust that their coworkers can perform tasks the right way to improve patient outcomes.” 

Shimansky’s dedication to her academics and her future career in nursing is inspiring, and Endicott couldn’t be more proud of her efforts as well as the efforts of her fellow nursing students. Explore more stories about our students, faculty, and staff, and learn about Endicott’s range of nursing programs.