VCH hosts Nursing Unit Assistant (NUA) practicums throughout the year – providing support and promoting learning to deliver exceptional care. The role of NUAs is to take on the administrative and liaison responsibilities that enable our patient care units to function smoothly, and are the key communication link between visitors, patients and the health care team, helping to ensure that we are delivering an exceptional care experience for all.
Christina recently had her NUA practicum at the Short Stay Unit at UBC Hospital and found that working in an acute setting wasn't as scary as she thought. “Every day walking into the unit, my colleagues always greeted me with a friendly smile," she says. Christina sees how her colleagues demonstrate the VCH Value “We Care for Everyone" on a daily basis. “Watching the staff work so hard while taking time to care for one another made me think of how amazing it would be to be a part of this team," she says.
Kate, another NUA practicum student says, “My practicum at Richmond Hospital has given me such a deep understanding of what it's like working in the field." After every shift, she felt more knowledgeable and confident in the NUA role. “This was such a change from being in a classroom setting; it has taught me so much and I am eager to transition into the work force!" she says. Kate recalls how she felt accepted from day one and her team made her experience so memorable. “I am never scared to ask questions or for help, especially with my preceptor being exceptionally kind and teaching me so much. She's always thinking ahead and sharing her knowledge which has helped me to absorb so much more".
Through her experience at the Maternity Unit at Richmond Hospital, Manleen was able to apply what she learned in school to real life situations. “I loved every moment of my practicum! I was learning new things every day and felt a sense of achievement and success that I know what I'm doing on the unit and being able to provide answers to nurses and patients", she recalls.
Rajveer is a preceptor at Richmond and values having NUA practicum students on the unit. She provides them with a supportive environment and guides them to be an efficient Unit Clerk. “I have been orientating new unit clerks since I started working here almost 10 years ago and I preceptor students often", says Rajveer. She likes to share her knowledge and experience and give the students them an effective and constructive learning experience. “I take pride in my work, and I try to be a good role model so they can learn and get inspired to do their job well and confidently." She says, “when they start working and do their job well, it makes me feel really happy and accomplished."
Christina, Kate and Manleen have all successfully graduated and have been hired into NUA positions at VCH. We are excited to continue to support the learning of new students and help them transition into their careers as NUAs.