YON 2020 Day 294: Courtney Schaeffer, LCCC Nursing Student

Going with her instincts not only benefitted her patient, but also provided Courtney Schaeffer with the impetus she needed to begin the nursing program at Lorain County Community College. With graduation on the horizon, she is ready to move from her patient care technician role into that of a nurse.

For nearly seven years, I have been employed as a patient care technician at my local hospital. I worked three years on the Medical-Surgical/ICU floors and am currently in the Emergency Department for the past four years. I have had an interest in the medical field and becoming a registered nurse since a very young age. Being a patient care technician has been the most amazing first step in the right direction.

The thought of pursuing nursing school and the anxiety of failing was a huge roadblock for me for many years. I needed something to happen to give me the confidence to let me know that nursing was the right choice and that I would be able to accomplish this goal if I put my mind to it. Not too long after transferring to the Emergency Department, I received that affirmation.

Often when a patient needs assistance out of the car, the registration staff will phone Emergency personnel for assistance. I received a call stating there was a gentleman that needed help. Alone, I grabbed a wheelchair and headed to the parking lot. This gentleman was holding his chest and was very diaphoretic. I assisted this patient into my wheelchair immediately. With the fear of getting in trouble, but following my gut instinct, I bypassed the registration desk and triage and brought this patient directly to a room. I immediately grabbed the attending physician and completed an electrocardiogram. This patient was diagnosed with an acute myocardial infarction within five minutes of being in our emergency department. My decision-making and quick intervening exponentially expedited this patient’s plan of care and improved his chances of a full recovery.

This was a pivotal time in my medical career. This scenario was the boost in confidence that I needed in order to take the plunge and enroll in nursing school. I am now ten weeks out from graduation and extremely happy with my career choice. I am optimistic about my future and ready to utilize my strong knowledge base in order to provide competent and compassionate care to the patients of my facility.

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