By Christina DiMauro
For senior Abigail McCarthy, second semester is all about preparing herself for her life after her college graduation.
When McCarthy first began school at Sacred Heart University in the fall of 2014, she was accepted into the nursing program, and has since dedicated a significant amount of her time to her studies.
Aside from Nursing, McCarthy is a member of the school band; she plays the clarinet for the marching band, the pep band, and concert band. She was a previous member of the Club Figure Skating team, but has since quit due to the time commitment.
“My schedule became too hectic with nursing and band, so now I only figure skate in my free time,” said McCarthy.
McCarthy is also is the social media coordinator for the Student Academy of Audiology at Sacred Heart, and a committed member to the Student Nurses Association.
“I’ve helped at events such as St. Vincent’s Medical Mission, in Bridgeport, Ct., an event where people can get testing and learn about resources for healthier lifestyles, and can see a physician for free-of-charge,” said McCarthy. “Here I assisted with providing blood glucose and cholesterol testing, as well as BMI calculations to the people who attended the event.”
Currently, McCarthy is preparing herself for the NCLEX; the test nursing students take to become a licensed nurse.
“Senior nursing students get preceptorships during the second semester at SHU,” said McCarthy. “I got placed on an Orthopedic Neuroscience floor at Stamford Hospital.”
During the semester, she follows around a current Registered Nurse (RN), and participates in the same procedures as the RN.
“I can do anything an RN does, except for administering medication,” said McCarthy.
Aside from the clinical work she has done at Sacred Heart, McCarthy received a job this past summer near her hometown of Marshfield, Mass.
She worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Plymouth, Mass.
“I was in the float pool,” said McCarthy. “Meaning that I got to work on a wide variety of floors at the hospital.”
She provided basic care needs to the patients on a daily basis.
“I attached heart monitors, obtained blood glucose levels, and worked closely with the RN’s on shift,” said McCarthy.
After working this past summer, McCarthy had a better understanding of where she wanted her future to go in the nursing field.
“I worked as a camp counselor for 8 years in my hometown, and after working around adult patients all summer, I came to realize that I missed the interactions with children,” said McCarthy.
Through her experience, McCarthy has learned a lot about nursing, and all the requirements it takes of a nurse on a daily basis.
“I have learned that nursing is a rewarding job,” said McCarthy. “I have been with patients on their very first days of life, and their last days of life. Each give a different meaning to nursing, and you don’t realize the importance and impact nurses make on a patients life until family members say a simple thank you.”
She still has to finish her final semester at Sacred Heart, and has an idea of where her future will lead her in the nursing field.
“When I graduate, I would love to get a job at Boston Children’s Hospital, and work on the Pediatric Endocrinology floor,” said McCarthy