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1. While writing your paper, what did you learn about the research process?

During the research process, I learned many things. Through working strictly with
NCWiseOwl, I learned the importance of finding and using credible sources. With credible
sources, the paper is much more put together and can avoid the risk of plagiarizing or incorrectly
citing. Although the research process was tedious, it allowed me to learn about my topic from
various points of view. I was provided with facts, case studies, personal stories, and even a vast
amount of statistics pertaining to certain pieces of information. It was a stressful process, but the
results of the hard work resulted in a solid amount of information for my paper.

2. How was the research related to your mentor hours?

The research and mentor hours were similar in some aspects, but very much different.
The research provided me with a solid background of my topic, along with statistics go help aid
me visually. However, there is no amount of research that would help me prepare for my mentor
hours in the hospital. During my mentor hours, I faced the true reality of being a nurse: long
hours, stressful situations, fast paced lifestyle, and almost little to no breaks. I saw people in pain
and struggling accepting it. Yet, through my mentor hours, I have never wanted to partake in a
career more than before. It gave me a sense of happiness knowing that one day I would be in my
mentors shoes; helping people and making a difference.

3. Summarize the mentor hours that you completed.

I completed my 10 requires mentor hours at Carolinas Medical Center (CMC), with my
mentor, Mary Grace Catahan. In the first three hours, I was allowed to view a Gallbladder and
Spleen removal surgery with a Nurse Anesthetist. The person in the surgery was an African
American women with Sickle Cell Anemia, which is a disease where an individual's red blood
cells are in the shape of sickles, and as they run through the veins it causes the patient a lot of
pain. This disease is very common in African Americans. The surgery was very enlightening,
and beside the smell, I enjoyed watching the process. During the fourth and fifth hours, I
witnessed a C-Section. Although this C-Section was different from typical ones performed at
hospitals. The mother had a sever case of Placenta Percreta, where the placenta attaches too
deeply into the uterus and eventually attaches to another organ, such as the bladder, less than five
percent of women experience this. The infant, was also three months premature. The air in the
operating room was tense and there were many people there. The child was taken out
successfully, but had extreme asphyxia and was struggling to breathe. Unfortunately, the mother
did not make it through the surgery. This was the point during my mentor hours where I decided
to not go into the Neonatal field of nursing, as it was difficult to witness a premature child
struggle to survive. During hours six and seven, I was placed in the neonatal unit and childrens
wing of the hospital. This was my least favorite portion of the mentor hours, as it was a bit slow
in the beginning. However, I did get to see the basic procedure process for a child with Down
Syndrome and heart defects. During hour eight, I shadowed Mrs. Catahan in the Postanesthetic
Care Unit (PACU). It was interesting to see how she handled patients who were just waking up
from surgery and how they reacted, as well. It was generally the calmest unit, in my opinion. A
majority of the patients were asleep, eating, or talking with family members. Although it was a
calm unit, I did not like it as much as the others, as I enjoy a fast paced approach to nursing.
During hours nine and ten, I was able to see three Colonoscopy procedures. I got to see the
doctor and nurse clean out the colon and really understand the importance of eating healthy and
taking care of yourself. Overall, my mentor hours were extremely enlightening in how I viewed
nurses and hospital settings.

4. How did working with your mentor affect your understanding of the topic area and /or
the professional world?
I learned many things, specifically hands on, while shadowing my mentor and many
others. Although the paper gave me excellent background knowledge on my topic, the mentor
hours seemed to complete the package of my understanding. I saw many things, from various
surgeries and ways to handle patients, it gave all of my information a realistic feel to it. I
understood that the field of nursing was very stressful and fast paced, but yet also extremely
rewarding to be in. As i began my mentor hours, I began to understand that I truly took more
than compassion to be a successful nurse: it took strength, joy, and a genuine love for others to
be successful in the job.

5. How did creating a product and completing the hours challenge you personally?
Although I knew the product portion would be a challenge, it was less stressful than I
imagined it to be. I was worried about finding something that would be approved, but my mentor
helped me. She gave me the idea of doing a two day lesson teaching middle school students
about health, which was perfect! I created a Prezi Presentation, interactive questions, a follow-up
kahoot, and a pamphlet to pass out at the end of the process! I was worried that my product
would not be educational yet entertaining for seventh graders, which I would say was my stretch.
As for my mentor hours, completing a typical 12 hour nursing shift was extremely tiring, as I
was not used to such a long amount of time on my feet and walking around. Finding a good pace
and a positive mindset was the most important for me to succeed throughout the day, which was
challenging at times.

6. Do you feel prepared academically and emotionally for the presentation?

I feel prepared academically, but not emotionally. Throughout the years, the presentation
has been brushed off by many and that may lead to a larger amount of stress from the students.
Personally, I feel fine for the presentation, but many do not. The weight of importance the
presentation has is evident, and many students feel worried and concerned they will not pass.
Though academic preparation is crucial so the student can be well-versed in their topic and feel
confident in their knowledge, I feel as if emotional preparation has been brushed aside, and that
should maybe be fixed for upcoming senior classes.

7. How did the entire process stretch you as a learner and as an individual?
This process stretched me as a learner in many ways. I was forced to use areas of my
mind I had not yet used and it was difficult to do that. From using strictly NCWiseOwl to doing a
12 hour shift at Carolinas Medical Center, it was a stretch. I learned things in the hospital and
through NCWiseOwl I never thought I would understand or even use, but I knew it was
important. I had to think of things in different perspectives to truly understand certain situations,
especially in the hospital, where I had to understand different situations with individuals
pertaining to their health concerns.

8. Other than time management, describe an obstacle you encountered and how you
overcame it.
Besides time management, an obstacle I experienced in this process was to think out of
the box and be creative, not only with my paper but with the product and presentation. I knew
that by adding aspects of creativity to my cookie cutter topic, nursing, would set me out from
other presentations and papers. By searching for interesting stories to add to my paper and fun
facts for my presentation, I was able to learn even more about nursing than I had before.

9. What life skills did you acquire and how will they help you in the future?
Some life skills I acquired were, the ability to communicate effectively with others. By
searching for a mentor who was willing to allow me to shadow them and truly understand the
purpose of my shadowing, was crucial. By properly communicating with my mentor and friends,
I was able to find someone willing to allow me to shadow. By creating an effective environment
for communication with my mentor, I was able to work with a teacher here at Pine Lake that
allowed me to use his class for my product portion of the process. Communication is an essential
life skill and this process I feel has efficiently prepared me for that aspect of life, not only for
college but for my career as a nurse.

10. If you had to go back and do parts of the project again, what would you do differently?
If given the choice to go back and change something, I would change how I perceived the
Pride process as a whole. I was concerned since I was a Freshman and knew the stress it would
entail for myself and my peers. I wish I had not fed off of that stress from others and simply
stayed in my own mindset and kept calm. Being calm in this process is essential, as it helps you
maintain a clear schedule of things that need to get done and what is important for yourself and
your product. Although I am not as stressed now as I was a year ago, the nervousness is settling
in and I have started to ignore others and keep to myself concerning the stresses; I just wish I had
started with this mindset earlier on in the process.
11. Based on the entire Pride Project experience, do you plan to pursue this field as a
career or college area of study? If so, why? If not, why? Please be specific.
My paper was centered around Neonatal Nursing, which I have now decided I will not
pursue; simply due to the fact that neonatology holds a large amount of stress and emotions.
Oftentimes, neonatal nurses cannot separate their emotions from work and home, and can lead to
ruined relationships and perhaps a loss of interest in the practice. I feel it is extremely vital to
have a passion for your career, and I feel I would not be strong in the field of Neonatal Nursing.
Through my shadowing of a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in my mentor
hours, I found a large interest in that field of work and wish to pursue that. It would require four
years of undergraduate studies, three years of Critical Care work, then another three to four years
to obtain my Anesthetic degree for nursing. Although it is a long process, I truly find that I will
thrive in that field of nursing and am extremely excited to begin my work towards my long term
goal to becoming a CRNA. I will be attending Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio this fall;
where I will be majoring in Nursing with a minor in Spanish. I am ecstatic on my choice in
college and even more excited to learn, live, and work in a state that has a different dynamic
from North Carolina.