Nursing Students Study at GMH

Nursing Students Study at GMH


                While Gaston Memorial Hospital’s main concern is giving top quality health care, it is also the hospital’s choice to give quality education to nurses who want to learn.

                “The division of nursing has the responsibility to assist students in formulating a sound and positive approach to the practice of nursing,” says Ms. Kathleen Harwell, director of nursing.

                Schools affiliated with Gaston Memorial are Gaston College, Dallas; Gardner-Webb College, Boiling Springs; University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Mercy Hospital, Charlotte.

                The student schedules are operated on a rotating basis.

                Mrs. Harwell comments, “We schedule the student so as not to jeopardized patient care and not have too many people to handle.  The students are limited on the floors in order for the student’s to get the experience that they need and not compromise the quality of patient care.”

                “In fact the students enhance our care.” Ms. Harwell adds.  “They stimulate the staff and add an enthusiasm that is contagious to our staff.”

                The students are monitored closely by an instructor who comes from their school.  The instructor must be with them while they are in the hospital working, therefore there are between six and eight students from a school at a given time.

                During their work hours in the hospital the small classes have daily conferences in which they discuss the patients with whom they are working.

                As the students gain experience they are gradually given increased duties according to their expertise.

                Ms. Harwell comments, “Most patients enjoy the students.  They have more time to spend with the patients.”

                One of the most important factors about having the students in the hospital is that they have eagerness to learn and to give their best to the patients at Gaston Memorial.

                As an added feature to the education at the hospital, this year a new program called summer enrichment began at Gaston Memorial.

                It is a work-study program for nurse externs designed to provide both clinical and classroom opportunities in which the student nurse may develop and refine nursing skills.

                The summer schedule is geared toward nursing students entering their senior year in the fall.

                After a one-week orientation to the hospital and nursing routines the externs are scheduled in various nursing departments as needs and interest develop.  The educational extras are diagnostic and treatment procedures, physician’s lectures and rounds.

                The nursing externs are under the supervision of a nursing instructor.  They are able to combine earning with learning while functioning in a nursing assistant role. 

                In addition the students will be able to take advantage of the planned educational opportunities at the hospital.