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2016 Linfield Magazine Summer

A healthy dose of wellness It is 4 p.m., as Sara Hussein ’16 packs up her books after class in Peterson Hall, scrambles to her car and heads up Interstate 5 to her medical-surgical clinical shift at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center in Vancouver, Wash. Here she will spend the rest of the evening poring over the charts for the patients she’ll care for the next day. After a few hours of sleep at home, she’ll return to the hospital at 6:30 a.m. for a 12-hour shift. The life of a nursing student is hectic. And like the other 341 students at the Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing (LGSSN), Hussein wouldn’t have it any other way. “Twelve-hour days are long, but I look at the clock and think, ‘Where did the time go?’” she says with a smile. “I’m absorbed, happy to be there, and my mind is always going, critically thinking and assessing. Time flies.” It is precisely those critical thinking and assessment skills that set Hussein and other Linfield nurses apart in the workplace. Guided by a liberal arts core of study, Linfield nursing students are immersed in community-based health, both in on-campus classes and off-campus clinicals. They learn a holistic approach to nursing and health, says Beverly Epeneter ’68, professor and associate dean of nursing. “Our nurses delve deeper,” she said. “It’s that truth seeking that comes from critical thinking. It’s not an accident. It’s built into the way our curriculum works.” And Epeneter knows. As former interim dean and a member of the faculty since 1984, she has been intimately involved in the evolution of the Linfield curriculum. Linfield graduates stand out because they can think beyond the task, she said. “Linfield students have the foundation of the liberal arts on which to build their profession,” Epeneter added. “They can anticipate, question appropriately, put things together in ways that work better than if their focus is just on doing the task. They can think more broadly and that’s an advantage.” Linfield’s liberal arts core distinguishes it from the majority of nursing programs in the state, according to Mallie Kozy, dean of the LGSSN. Beyond learning the science “Our nurses delve deeper. It’s that truth seeking that comes from critical thinking. It’s not an accident. It’s built into the way our curriculum works.” – Beverly Epeneter ’68, professor and associate dean of nursing Elisabeth Martinez-Mendoza ’16 applies a blood pressure cuff as Luke Puerini ’16 looks on in one of Linfield’s four nursing labs. Beyond learning the science of nursing, students take liberal arts courses which help them think in different ways as nurses. Strong critical thinking and communication skills are required to help them address not only the health needs of their patients, but also their emotional and spiritual needs. Summer 2016 l i n f i e l d m a g a z i n e - 7


2016 Linfield Magazine Summer
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