Tag Archives: nursing

Talking with Ralph Edward Valdez, Volunteer at Napa Covid Testing Site

Having completed Spanish for Health Care Professionals last quarter, nursing student Ralph Edward Valdez from American Canyon is putting it to good use! Last week he reached out to share his recent experience.

 “I applied for the Medical Reserve Corps since my nursing class doesn’t have clinicals this quarter and was assigned to work as a Nurse at a COVID testing site (they provided appropriate training to all students from the MRC) in Napa. And started work a couple of weeks ago. This past Saturday, none of the staff could speak Spanish, so upon arrival, I immediately told them I would handle all translations. I was able to successfully explain the process to the Spanish speaking patients! More importantly, I was able to keep in particular, one of the patients, from panicking and feeling overwhelmed with their situation. Up until now, I hadn’t really fully understood the importance of being multilingual, especially in a setting such as this.”

We wanted to learn more about Ralph’s experiences at PUC and volunteering and he was kind enough to chat with us!  

First of all, you’re a nursing major so I assume you want to be a nurse! Have you always wanted to be one?

Once upon a time, I wanted to go to med school to be a pediatric oncologist. It wasn’t until the end of my senior year in high school that my senior project mentor told me about one of her own son’s battle with cancer. She said that undoubtedly, despite the negativity of the situation, the nurses never ceased to be beacons of hope for not just her son, but their whole family. She said it was the nurses who were at her son’s side every day that kept them with a positive outlook. 

What has been your favorite class you’ve taken at PUC so far? 

I’ll preface with that I haven’t had many classes at PUC, what with being a transfer student, and all that. My favorite class would be a toss-up between Spanish for SPAN 105 with Profe (Doctora) Gregorutti and BIOL 102  with Dr. Vance. I had them during different quarters.

You volunteer at a COVID testing site in Napa, what made you decide to do that?

Truthfully, I did not expect to be working on the frontlines. I happened to be watching the local news when the reporters were talking about the opportunity to work with the Health Corps in California. I immediately expressed my interest and fill out the necessary forms. I thought I would get called into work at a local hospital or a clinic working with ‘non-COVID’ patients, doing simple tasks like taking general vitals and working with RNs and CNAs. The next thing I knew, I was offered an assignment to work at the then soon-to-open drive-thru COVID-19 testing site. It definitely took me by surprise, but I took the offer. Of course, I was a little bit apprehensive at first, but during our first meeting, it was great to see all of us on the medical staff establishing the process for testing, crossing our T’s and dotting our I’s.

 Can you describe your typical work shift? 

My typical shift begins with me signing in and checking/logging my temperature. Then myself and the rest of the “swabbing” team washes our hands and get donned in full PPE. We then head on to the designated “hot zone,” prep our station for swabbing, and begin. We work in two-person teams with one person performing the swab and the other prepping and safely packaging the samples. Most of the time I’m the one assisting, but I occasionally perform swabs myself. The testing site tests on average, about 350-400 people a day, with my shift typically completing 200+ of the tests. Afterward, we clean up our station, gather the tests, and head over to the decontamination zone where we take a mini chemical bath, doff our PPE, and wash our hands again before checking/logging our temperatures and signing out. 

In (almost) Full PPE

What has been the most valuable thing you’ve learned during your time there? 

The most valuable thing I learned was how, especially in our community, the importance of being bilingual. It’s one thing to ease people’s potential fears with illnesses, but it really put things into perspective for me when I encountered my first patient who could only speak Spanish. They were evidently fearful, having not heard much from the news. Everything they’d heard was pretty much secondhand from people who could translate for them, but none of the medical professionals. I worked with the RN to explain the whole situation to them, all the way to how to interpret their results, what to expect, and more, making sure to note how their culture would be impacted by COVID-19. Once I explained everything, of course, there was a little apprehension, but overall they were happy they could finally understand what was actually going on around them, and what to do/how to interpret their test results.

You said you just completed Spanish for Health Care Professionals, was that required for your degree or did you decide to take it for another reason?

SPAN 105 is not required for my degree, but I thank professor Lorie Johns for making it known to me that it was an option. I took Spanish classes in elementary and high school, so I was versed in textbook phrases and whatnot, but not with regards to health care. Given that a big part of the demographic in Napa is Spanish-speaking, I figured that it would be best that I learn healthcare-related lingo.

Being bilingual clearly came in handy during the past few months at the testing site. Can you tell us about that experience? 

I kind of explained it above already. I’ll add, however, that I’m the only Spanish speaker available to work on Saturdays. I can only imagine what it would be like to go and have an invasive test done, all the while with no one being able to explain the process to me. It’d definitely be a scary experience 

What advice would you like to give other students?

Broaden your horizons! Understand that, especially in the healthcare field, it’s not just about the Golden Rule (Treat others the way you want to be treated). There’s also the Platinum Rule: “Treat others the way they want to be treated.” This is a big difference between cultural competence and cultural humility. This doesn’t just apply to healthcare as well. Live it in your day to lives. Be mindful of others. 

Ok, now a couple fun questions.

Tell us your favorite movie, book, song. 

Favorite movie(s) since it depends on the genre

  • Call Me By Your Name (the film adaptation of Andre Aciman’s book)
  • Koe no Katachi (A Silent Voice in English): A Japanese anime film that discusses the difficult topics of depression, bullying, suicide, and love.

What are you binge-watching right now?

As an avid fan of anime, I usually am binge-watching most shows that are being simulcasted each season.

 The first place you’d like to eat out at once it’s safe to do so?

Anywhere I can get Korean BBQ! Right before the pandemic, I was actually planning to go with some friends of mine.

 

Creative Outlets: An Interview With Student Musician Alexis Keller

Becky St. Clair

Hailing from Loomis, California (near Sacramento), Alexis Keller is a nursing major in her junior year who also happens to be both a fabulous violinist and a successful competitive water-skier. Not only is she a first violinist in the PUC Orchestra, but she plays second violin in the college’s string quartet as well. 

Alexis was gracious enough to share her passion and insights with us so we could share them with you. Without further ado, meet Alexis!

When did you start playing the violin?

I started playing the violin when I was three years old. Interestingly enough, the school I went to at the time required everyone to learn how to play the violin. After the violin teacher left the school, my mom, who is also a violinist, continued to practice with me at home and took me to private violin lessons.

What kept you interested in that particular instrument?

I have continued to be interested in and play the violin because I love the medium of emotional expression it creates, the ability to connect with others through the language of music, and the opportunity to worship God through music. Also, in my unbiased opinion, the violin is one of the most beautiful-sounding instruments and truly emulates the human voice.

Because of my experiences playing the violin, I have had opportunities to connect with lifelong friends, perform famous orchestra pieces, and play in performances around the world.

Aside from learning the violin, tell us about your experience with music as a young person.

Music was a big part of my life growing up. From as early on as I can remember, I was brought along to my mom’s orchestra dress rehearsals and concerts. I grew up listening to the orchestral works of Beethoven, Dvořák, Mahler, and Haydn (to name a few), both at my mom’s orchestra concerts and on the radio station when my parents drove me home from school. At the age of seven, I joined the Sacramento Youth Symphony and continued to perform in the orchestra for the next decade until I graduated high school at age 17.

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What makes music valuable to you here at PUC?

I am very grateful for the opportunity to continue making music at PUC because I am surrounded by a community of like-minded students and professors who share the same appreciation for music and passion to share that love of music with others. The environment PUC’s department of music has created pushes me to become a better musician and provides a creative outlet for a much-needed break from my studies!

What is your favorite piece of music you’ve ever performed, and why?

Definitely Accolay’s Concerto No. 1 in A Minor. This piece holds a special place in my heart because it was my first time soloing with an orchestra. It was a really great experience to go through the process of working with the orchestra and conductor to create the performance and then share that with my family and friends.

 How do you balance study and music?

Finding time to practice can be very difficult, which is one of the reasons I am so thankful to be in orchestra and quartet. Without these scheduled times, I am not sure I would so frequently play my violin. The best way to balance my busy schedule is to remind myself how important it is to take time for myself and what I love to do, like making music.

Okay, so heading a completely different direction, tell us about your other, non-musical hobby.

Competitive slalom waterskiing is definitely a less conventional sport, but one I absolutely love doing. I started skiing and competing around the age of seven after much convincing from my mom to enter a tournament. After that first tournament, I was hooked. I loved competing against both my personal score as well as the other girls in my division and the constant challenge to complete the next pass as the rope was shortened. I have won many local tournaments and received medals when I traveled throughout the U.S. for regional competitions.

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What’s one class here at PUC in which you feel you’ve learned the most?

My nursing classes definitely feel like information overload a lot of the time, but they have all taught me so much. My favorite nursing class that I’ve taken was Nursing 4. It was a transition phase from the first year of nursing school to the second. I felt this class really helped me grow my critical thinking skills and prioritization of patient care.

What is something you want to accomplish before graduating?

I hope to make a positive impact on the PUC campus in a way that emulates God’s love. Additionally, my goal is to start working as a nurse while I get my BSN next year.

What is something you’ve already accomplished?

I am proud of getting into the nursing program, my work as a coordinator for the collegiate Sabbath school, and my opportunities to connect with students as an RA. I am glad to be involved in campus life because it has taught me skills of leadership, teamwork, and communication I will continue to develop after graduation and into adulthood.

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What is your career goal, and why?

I want to get my nurse practitioner license. I chose nursing as a career path because I was drawn to the interactions with patients, the opportunity to better the physical and lifestyle health of individuals, and to be in a setting where I am constantly learning new things.

Okay, final and clearly most important question: Tra Vigne or Villa Corona?

I prefer Tra Vigne over Villa Corona. Though Tra Vigne is more expensive, it has a lot of vegan options such as the make your own pizza, Beyond Burger, and piadinas. 

 

 

 

#FacultyFriday: Meet Julianna Boydston

Napa Valley native Julianna Boydston joins the nursing faculty this year. She has a great mix of both indoor and outdoor hobbies, and she loves what she does. Check out her profile below to learn more about the department of nursing’s newest addition.

Name: Julianna Boydston
Title: Assistant Professor of Nursing
Email: jboydston@puc.edu
Faculty since: 2018

Fall Quarter Classes: Management & Professional Practice and faculty-on-record for 6th-quarter students’ corresponding preceptorship NURS 325L

Education: BSN and MSN from the University of San Francisco

What drew you into nursing?

I had been looking for a career to keep me closer to home. After welcoming our first child into our lives, I decided the time was now to begin a career in academia. I have always loved education and teaching in the hospital setting; I am now excited to have the opportunity to educate our newest generation of nurses. Nursing is not only a profession, but a calling for most, and I am pleased I will be able to work with students who share that calling.

And what brought you here?

The nursing program at PUC is very highly regarded in the community and I am happy to be a part of such a great program.

Where were you working prior to coming to PUC?

I was a registered nurse at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, San Francisco. I worked as a bedside nurse in the pediatric cardiac ICU where we take care of critically ill infants, children, and adults with congenital heart defects. We recently added a cardiac transplant program to the Pediatric Heart Center, as well.

So you’re practically a local, but has anything surprised you since arriving at PUC?

I grew up in Napa Valley, so I am used to the beautiful scenery and surrounding areas. I love the tall and majestic redwood trees surrounding the campus and on my drive into work each morning. There is something so special about these beautiful trees. After learning this group of redwoods are the most inland gathering of these trees, I find them to be even more special.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

My favorite hobby is riding horses. I love to ride out in the hills, alone or with friends and family. I also enjoy cooking for friends and family, and baking cookies, pies, and lemon bars.

Everyone has a surprising element to them—what’s yours?

I am secretly very shy by nature.

#FacultyFriday: Meet Sandra Ringer

Some people aren’t sure what they want to do with their lives, even while they’re studying in college. But Sandra Ringer, the newest member of the department of nursing, has known virtually all her life what her career would be. We sat down with Professor Ringer to learn more about her and her passion for what she does. Welcome to the team, professor!

Name: Sandra Ringer
Title: Assistant Professor of Nursing
Email: sringer@puc.edu
Faculty since: 2018

Fall Quarter Class: Theory & Clinical for Nursing III (NURS 125)

Education: A.S. in nursing, Southern Adventist University; B.S. in nursing, Grand Canyon State University; M.S. in nursing with an emphasis in leadership in health care, Grand Canyon University

Where was home before now?

Prior to coming to PUC, I lived in Alberta, Canada, where my husband, David, was the administrative residence hall dean at Burman University. The licensing and visa laws for out-of-country schooled nurses were complicated so I could not get my nursing licenses immediately. The situation prompted me to go back to school. I worked in the IT department at Burman University while going to school full time.

Why did you choose to teach at PUC?

Short answer: God’s leading. Here’s a longer answer! It became evident to my husband and I that becoming licensed as a nurse in Canada was not going to happen for a long time and I was very concerned about being out of clinical practice. We began to earnestly pray for God’s leading. I considered moving back to the U.S. while my husband was in Canada, but neither of us liked that very much! There were several viable job options we found, but either they fell through or we felt strongly that we needed to wait. This past spring, staff members at PUC began talking to us about job possibilities. We felt God leading us toward this fantastic school. It’s also a bonus we are now only seven hours from our oldest son!

You obviously really love what you do; what originally drew you into nursing?

At the age of 10, I found an old book on our bookshelves called “Whispering Halls.” It was about a nurse and her journey at Washington Adventist Hospital in the 1940s. There was something in this book that lit a spark regarding the nursing profession, and I knew that when I grew up, I wanted to be a nurse.

What about when you’re not in the classroom or your office? What are some of your hobbies?

Traveling and exploring new areas, cooking, baking, singing, reading, and spending time with my awesome family.

One last thing: What’s something people may be surprised to learn about you?

I am a certified scuba diver! I love to snorkel or scuba dive in warm-water climates.

Five Academic Departments at PUC You Should Know

There are over 70 different majors at PUC, which offers students plenty of options to choose from. Some of our more popular and unique departments include nursing & health sciences, biology, visual arts, aviation and education, which is a nice mix making PUC a true liberal arts college. Read on for a few fast facts about these departments!

Nursing & Health Sciences

The department of nursing and health sciences is home to the emergency services program, as well as our AS and BSN nursing degrees, which are some of the most popular at PUC.

  • We talked with PUC’s pre-nursing advisor to cover some frequently asked questions about the program. Curious if a BSN is necessary in today’s workforce? Give this blog post a read.
  • PUC offers a two year degree in health sciences for students planning on continuing on to Loma Linda University for programs such as pre-clinical laboratory science, pre-dental hygiene, pre-radiation science, and several others.

Biology

Interested in gaining some real world research experience? Look no further than the department of biology, where students conduct experiments for research projects and internships on an almost daily basis. Browse through these blog posts about student research opportunities at PUC.

  • PUC biology students have uniquely high acceptance rates to top-notch medical and dental schools like Loma Linda University.
  • There’s more than one way and one place to learn. The department teaches classes on the Mendocino Coast at the college’s Albion Retreat & Learning Center, and students have traveled as far away as Brazil for tropical biology courses.

Visual Arts

For a behind the scenes look at one of PUC’s most exciting departments, check out the department of visual arts’ Instagram.

  • PUC film students have completed internships at DreamWorks Animation, Sofia and Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope film studio, Pixar and HBO.
  • With San Francisco just an hour a 20 minutes away, visual arts students often visit museums in the city, including the SF Museum of Modern Art, the de Young Museum, & the Palace of Legion of Honor.

Aviation

The sky’s the limit in PUC’s department of aviation!

  • PUC is one of only two liberal arts colleges in California to offer a degree in aviation.
  • There are many different career paths aviation students can pursue, including aerial photography, airline pilot, air traffic controller, fire fighting, and more. Read one PUC graduate’s story of how an aviation degree took him to new heights in this blog post.

Education

PUC’s $3,000 renewable Adventist Mission Scholarship is available to students actively pursuing a teaching credential for elementary or secondary education.

  • The department of education assists graduates with job placement through events like the Education Days banquet and interviews, where prospective employers from the local conference and throughout the Pacific Union meet with students.
  • Learn how you can tailor an education degree to fit your future career aspirations by reading about this recent graduate’s experience in this blog post.

For more information about all of PUC’s degree programs and how they can help you reach your educational and professional goals, we invite you to talk with an enrollment counselor in the enrollment services office. Email enroll@puc.edu or call (800) 862-7080, option 2 today.

Melissa’s Advice – Do Something New!

Name: Melissa SetterlundMelissa Setterlund
From: Nampa, Idaho
Major: Nursing
Graduation: AS in June 2014, BSN in June 2015

Why did I choose Nursing?
I’ve always wanted to help people, especially those who are unable to help themselves. I also find human anatomy to be fascinating. Add to that the excitement of how different medications work on the body and BAM! You have the trifecta for a desire to be a nurse. There are always a million reasons to do each job, and if those don’t appeal to you, that doesn’t mean that nursing isn’t for you. It’s okay for you to have your own reasons.

A Normal Week
Usually I have class 2-3 days a week. The other days are filled with clinical hours, one or two shifts at the hospital a week. During my free days, I try to put in as many work hours as I can and then, of course, I spent time studying and doing homework. It’s definitely a busy schedule, but if you’re able to manage your time well and motivate yourself to complete assignments and study, you’ll be just fine.

Favorite Class at PUC 
I have two favorites: Pharmacology and Maternal-Newborn. Pharmacology appeals to my interest in the body and how medications work. It helps that the professor, Susan Bussell, keeps things interesting by using different candies to compare to the different medications. Maternal-Newborn, taught by Gladys Muir, interested me because of how the body changes to accommodate another human life. Again with the whole anatomy kick, the idea of creating life and your body adapting to it is fascinating.

Most Exciting Experience
Probably the most exciting experience I’ve had relating to nursing was during my clinical rotation to the Labor & Delivery Unit. I was able to see a baby being born. It was special to see how happy the mom and the dad were when they were able to hold their baby for the first time. It was probably even cooler for me since Maternal-Newborn was one of my favorite classes. It showed me the things I learn at PUC are applicable to real life and happen in the real world.

Tips
You’ve probably heard a million times that you should study hard, use good time management, and take advantage of tutoring, so I won’t go that route. Instead, I encourage you to take advantage of every opportunity for doing or learning something new in the hospital. Tell your nurse that you want to do something new and ask if there is a procedure or treatment being done that day that you could be a part of and don’t be afraid to get in there and participate. You are there to learn and become a nurse so take every opportunity you can.