Time management is one trait which is essential to a nurse working in an emergency room. Andrew Sullivan, a 2019 B.S.N. graduate learned this early on in his nursing classes. It made him a nurse who can expertly handle five different situations at once.
“There is no typical day,” Andrew explains. “You have a block of four to five rooms, and those rooms are yours for the entire shift. So whoever is assigned to that room is your patient.” I’ve dealt with everything from cardiac arrest, people cutting their fingers off with saws, chest pain, strokes…it’s just whatever they come in for.”
Sullivan grew up in Huntington, N.Y., on Long Island, and it was in his hometown that he first became involved with emergency services. He joined the local fire department at the age of 12 as a junior firefighter, and then joined the local First Aid Squad as an EMS explorer at age 16. With an extensive background in volunteer emergency services, Andrew knew he wanted to work in the ER.
After graduating from Immaculata, Andrew interviewed for the nurse residency program and asked to be assigned to the ER for his six-month residency at Capital Health’s Hopewell Hospital in New Jersey. During his residency in the ER, he is taking classes to learn additional clinical skills, and splitting the patient load with his preceptor, who is an experienced staff nurse who serves as a role model and point person for newly employed nurses.
The countless hours that Andrew and his classmates spent in the simulation labs at Immaculata gave him the experience and confidence with assessment and communication that are necessary for the profession. Effective communication is important, especially when speaking with patients and family members. The courses in Immaculata’s pre-licensure nursing program created a strong foundation for Andrew. In addition to the clinical components of the nursing classes, he appreciates that Immaculata offers Concepts in Nursing Leadership and Management, which taught him to delegate tasks and work with others to solve problems, and, of course, it taught him time management skills. Transition into Holistic Nursing Practice class, which helps students transition to the role of professional nurse during their final semester, provided 120 hours of hands-on experience in a hospital setting. However, even with the transitional class, Andrew admits that there was a learning curve. Every hospital runs differently, from computer systems to procedures and policies.
Although he is just starting his career, Andrew is already thinking toward his future. “One of the reasons I like nursing is there are just so many things you can do throughout the stages of your life,” he says. “Once I’m older and have more experience, I can take a desk job as a manager, or go into education,” he adds. He has considered other types of positions, such as a nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist or a flight nurse.
No matter what direction he goes during his career, he says Immaculata’s faculty prepared him well.