Nursing Externship Week 1

Hi friends! This past week I started my summer nursing externship in St.Louis, Missouri. It’s been a busy, exhausting first week, but I am already learning so much. My goal is to write a few posts throughout the summer with updates on how it’s going and what I am learning. So this first post shouldn’t be too long I hope since I just want to give a little recap of the past week!

First of all, let me explain to you what this nursing externship even is. I was accepted into this nurse externship program that is through the University of Missouri Saint Louis (UMSL) and BJC Healthcare. It is a highly competitive program that has been around for many years now. Anyone who is a rising senior (or super senior in my case) in any nursing program in the country can apply for the program. The main component of the externship is the clinical experience where we work full time at a hospital here in St.Louis that UMSL places us at. Each student is assigned a nurse mentor whom we work with all summer. We follow our mentor’s schedule working all the shifts they work. In addition to the clinical component, there is a class we are taking through UMSL. This class meets once a week on zoom and is a supplement to the clinical component and helps to tie everything together. It seems like it will be a pretty chill class as we mostly just have to attend class each week, do a weekly journal entry, and then do one big project at the end of the summer semester.

I was assigned to Barnes Jewish Hospital in downtown St.Louis in the Women’s Assessment Center-OB Triage. I was thrilled to be assigned to this hospital because it is ranked #18 in the country. I still can’t believe I am getting to work and learn at such an amazing hospital! Some of you know that after graduation, I want to become a labor & delivery nurse. I preferenced that on my application for this externship and was assigned the unit I’m on now. I wasn’t really sure what the OB triage unit would entail, but after having my first few shifts there I think it will be a great learning environment. Our unit is essentially an ER for women’s services. We see a variety of different cases including pregnant and non-pregnant women. We triage the patients that come in, assess & evaluate them, and then either admit them to our labor & delivery or antepartum unit or treat them and send them home.

I love that it is an ER environment and pace, but with OB patients. I’m so excited to get practice working with the patient population that I hope to work with after graduation. I’m also excited to get practice with specialized skills that come with working with OB like reading fetal heart monitor tracings and other skills. So far, I have already gotten to do so much and I know I am going to grow and learn SO much in just these 10 short weeks. This externship is so cool because in nursing school, we typically only get 1 clinical shift a week that is 8 hours and sometimes certain opportunities don’t present themselves so we don’t get the practice. In this internship, I’ll be working 12 hour shifts 3 times a week on the same unit so I will be able to get familiar and comfortable with the flow of the unit and performing skills. Since it’s an ER, I’ll get to have a lot of practice inserting IV’s, performing lab draws, giving medications including intravenous & intramuscular, & other things.

I said this was going to be a short post and I think I’m going to end it here. I’ll post another update in a few weeks to let you know how I’m progressing! Outside of the externship, I am loving St.Louis so far and I am so excited to explore this fun city this summer. Check out my photos below to see some of the fun things I have done so far in the city!


Texan On The Go

Listening to live music at Rally Sports Live after the Cardinals game
Cardinals vs Cubs game!
Me at the game
Toasted ravioli and Imo’s pizza-a st.louis staple!
Touring the arch with one of my roommates!
View of the city from the riverboat cruise we did near the arch
The arch! The architecture is pretty impressive.
One part of the hospital I’m working at. It’s huge!
Brunch with my roommates
And the Soulard farmer’s market!

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