Caroline Abanukam had already enjoyed a busy career in the nursing profession when she decided to enroll in South University, Online Program’s Master of Science in Nursing with a Specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner program.
“I started as a certified nursing assistant and medical technician in assisted living and nursing homes. Having lived with my grandparents, the decision to work in the residential care facilities was not hard,” she recalls. “I had the opportunity to supervise, as well as acquire various skills to care for a broad variety of patients and sickness. After I graduated from nursing school and got certified, I chose to work in nursing home.”
Already equipped with years of nursing experience, Abanukam wanted to make sure that South University’s online programs were the right fit for her.
“As an older student, mother, grandmother and wife, it was important to find the ‘institutional culture’ of the university. I quickly learned the teachers take time to work with students individually. Academic support is readily available with vast and up-to-date online resources.
“Campus resources are excellent, such as the technical support, WIFI network and its reliability; so crucial for online program. Most of the teachers have several years of teaching experience, patience and have worked in various healthcare sectors. The student body consisted mainly of older students who worked full time or part time, like me,” she explains.
Abanukam says the coursework was challenging.
“It immediately became obvious that all the online courses required adequate time management. At least five assignments were due on a weekly basis. There were quizzes, discussions, projects, papers, mid-semester and final exams. Organizing oneself was paramount in order to move along with the rest of the class.
“The academic experience is rewarding, including forming lasting friendships with fellow students, the faculty and staff.”
Now Abanukam works in home health, and is continuing to treat patients who need the care of an experienced and attentive nursing professional.
“Generally, my clients include senior citizens/individuals who are constantly ill, impaired cognitively or disabled and want to remain at home. As such, the duties I perform vary from patient to patient,” she explains. “I help in training new nurses, assessing clients’ conditions, taking clients to places, bathing, feeding, dressing, administering medications and watch for any adverse reactions or any changes in condition and behavior.
“Other responsibilities include directly reporting to my client’s doctor and family in certain situations, such as deteriorating health or concerns for an abrupt medical condition. On the ‘light side’, we carry on conversations (by way of providing companionship) since such patients tend to be depressed.”
As someone who has dedicated her adult life to the career of nursing, Abanukam has strong feelings about the profession.
“Nursing is a profession that lets you to console, cheer up sick people and help save lives. It is an occupation so heartwarming and satisfying, considering the joy one derives from the recovery and happy face of the patient and gratitude expressed by family members. With newer technologies and advanced knowledge-base in the medical field, careers in the health care sectors are thriving. As such, nurses are in constant demand and there are numerous job opportunities.
“As a young girl living with my grandparents, I acquired empathy and compassion for suffering, as well as strong values and respect for human life. So, it was not hard for me to choose to be a nurse as a means to make a difference in people’s lives.”
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