Winneshiek Medical Center – a trusted partner in education
Winneshiek Medical Center is the trusted partner for health care for individuals and families in our region. And for some, it is also a classroom.
Elise Heiser, a Luther College senior from Johnsburg, Illinois, began her college career as a music major. As she progressed through her studies, Elise discovered she harbored a love for serving others and transitioned to the Luther College nursing program, a decision she has never regretted. “Nursing is a great fit for me. I love people and taking care of them. Nursing also allows me to use and improve my critical thinking skills,” she says.
This past January, Elise participated in a hands-on learning experience at Winneshiek Medical Center. Winneshiek Medical Center welcomed 16 students in January for experiences in the facility. The students were from: Luther College, Universities of Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, Hawkeye Community College, Western Technical and one high school student from MFL Mar-Mac. They shadowed patient care and support departments throughout the medical center, depending on their interests and studies. Over the course of one year, WMC staff support approximately 350 students.
Elise had specific goals for her experience at Winneshiek Medical Center. “I wanted to work on professional interactions with patients, while continuing to improve my nursing skills. The best education is by observation, so I’ve been paying particular attention to how the WMC nurses communicate and interact with the variety patients they care for each day.”
“We are training health care professionals for the next generation,” says Shirley Larsen, a registered nurse in Winneshiek Medical Center’s Same Day Services department, who spent time with Elise. Winneshiek Medical Center Same Day Services provides care prior to and after surgical procedures, and administers chemotherapy and infusion treatments for patients. Elise participated in them all, with each patient’s permission. “Shirley really let me lead the show,” Elise says. “With her guidance, I had meaningful and instructive experiences with patients.”
Linda Watson, a WMC patient receiving care for a routine procedure said, “Elise has been very professional and will make a very competent nurse one day.” Linda added with a smile, “She got my IV in on the first try!”
“I’ve had an extremely positive experience at Winneshiek Medical Center and am thankful for the opportunity to learn alongside skilled, compassionate and experienced nurses,” says Elise.