Douglas local talks about the college’s nursing program
By Craig Allan, Staff Writer
Of the many programs offered at Douglas College, one of the biggest is the nursing program. It is a robust field of study that Douglas has to offer—so what is it like to attend the program? What is the day-to-day life of a nurse in training? To answer these questions and more is Douglas College student, Ruth Desterke.
Desterke has been going to Douglas for three years and is currently about to finish her second year of schooling (counting the elective year). Her goal is to get a Bachelor of Science Degree and enter the Psychiatric Nursing Field. In this interview, she answers why she decided to enter the nursing program and other interesting questions.
Other Press: Why did you choose to go into the nursing program?
Ruth Desterke: “I chose to go into the Psychiatric Nursing Program at Douglas College for several reasons. Firstly, psychology has always fascinated me. The human mind is so intricate and no “cookie-cutter” solution will work for every person. No day or client will ever be the same. As such it requires the nurse to be mindful of each client, draw out their strengths and help them to succeed in the best way possible for them.
Secondly, mental health is something that affects all of us to some degree. I am blessed to have an opportunity to be a part of someone’s journey. I aim to leave a positive and supportive impact on their lives. Lastly, I genuinely just want to help people. This future career will allow me to work closely with other health care treatment teams to develop individualized treatment plans to help clients understand their illness and to live productive and full lives.”
OP: What has been the most challenging part of your program?
RD: “Learning a work and life balance. My own mental health and self-care have become a priority in this program. Without being balanced inside I would not be able to handle the heavy course load and all that is going on in life as well.”
OP: With this degree/certification, where do you hope your career in nursing takes you?
RD: “As I am still in the middle of the program, I haven’t thoroughly thought about this option. In our program, we have our clinical experiences that will give me a good idea as to what working as a psychiatric nurse looks like in a variety of ways. There is hospital work, forensic work, community work, Car 87, and so many more opportunities upon completion of this degree. My current short-term life goal is to graduate alive.”
OP: What has been the most rewarding part of going after a nursing degree?
RD: “What I have enjoyed the most during this program has been the clinical placements. Here we can learn to put our knowledge into action, learning to grow and develop into our own practice. I have loved making connections with clients. It is so rewarding to see smiles on their faces, to be able to listen and help where I can.”
OP: How have you balanced schoolwork and social life? What do you do for fun to get away from work and recharge?
RD: “It was very hard in the first semester with seven courses. Learning how to work on assignments based on priority was so important. Also taking time for social life and my own health and wellness was much needed.
Depending on the day and my energy, my recharge can look like a face mask at home with ice cream and Netflix, or heading to a class at the gym. I love hiking and being in nature, so this is my first go to, even if it is just a walk outside to get the blood flowing. Rain or shine, I will likely be outside for some part of my day!”
OP: Would you recommend the Douglas College nursing program to prospective students?
RD: “Yes, absolutely. The amount of personal growth that I have experienced in just the first year is incredible. The program really teaches you a lot about yourself and I have found it changes the way that I think about situations and others as well. I am learning how to be a psychiatric nurse and I am also experiencing a lot of self-growth during this program.”