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Hospital Happenings

News | Aug. 17, 2023

BJACH hosts summer clinical rotation for Army Nurse Corps Cadet

By Jean Graves, Medical Readiness Command, West

 Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital concluded the annual nurse summer training program with a graduation ceremony in honor of cadet Jasmine Savant, a nursing student from the University of Louisiana, Monroe on Aug. 15 at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Johnson, Louisiana.

1st Lt. Justin Sinlao, NSTP manager at BJACH, said the program is a 28-day clinical immersion experience and the pinnacle training event for future Army Nurse Corps Officers. He said the goal of the program is to provide nursing students in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps with a clinical experience in a military medical treatment facility while simultaneously introducing them to the duties, roles and responsibilities expected of an Army nurse.

Savant is member of the Tiger Battalion, ROTC program at Grambling State University and is the only ROTC cadet in her nursing program at ULM.

Born and raised in Opelousas, Louisiana, Savant currently serves as a unit supply specialist in the Louisiana National Guard and is assigned to the 528th Engineer Battalion in Monroe, Louisiana.

“I always knew I wanted to be a nurse,” she said. “Serving in the national guard has motivated me to become an Army Nurse.”

Savant said working with and shadowing Sinlao was her favorite part of the three- week clinical rotation.

“Learning from 1st Lt. Sinlao helped me understand my weaknesses and areas I need to work on,” she said. “He helped me learn more about things to do, best practices, and things I should not do when working with patients.”

Savant said she gained a lot of great experience that she will take back for her next semester at ULM.

“While working in the labor, delivery and postpartum ward I was able to witness the birth of a baby, which was really cool to see,” she said. “In the emergency department, I got to work with Jeff Cooley, he was really nice and used his down time to show me other things that I can take with me as I continue my education and will help me be a better nurse.”

Savant said her experience at BJACH solidified her goals of becoming an Army Nurse Corps Officer.

“Since I was the only cadet at BJACH for this summer rotation, I got all the attention,” she said. “At first, I thought there would be other cadets here, but being the only one this year was a benefit for my personal and professional growth.”

Savant spent time on the mixed medical surgical ward, the OB/GYN clinic, LDRP, physical and occupational therapy clinic, and the operating room.

“Eventually I want to be a certified registered nurse anesthetist, so I enjoyed my interactions with them during my rotation through surgery,” she said. “I’ve changed my major numerous times, but as I’ve shadowed other people during my clinical rotations, I’ve learned about CRNAs, what they do, and I know this will be my next goal. Hopefully I can achieve it through my service in the Army.”

Jeff Cooley, a registered nurse in the BJACH emergency department, served as a preceptor for Savant during her rotation.

“Certain nurses made the difference in my career,” he said. “I know it is very important to support, influence and encourage future nurses.”

Cooley said the experiences students have with seasoned nurses can make or break their desire to get into the field of nursing.

“Jasmine was really outgoing and willing to put forth the effort,” he said. “That’s the first step to success. She is very career oriented, eager to learn and I think she will achieve her professional goals as a nurse and beyond.”

Jessica McMickin, registered nurse on the BJACH LDRP ward, said she enjoyed serving as a preceptor for Savant.

“She was such a sweet and smart girl who was always excited to experience and learn new things,” she said. “It says a lot that we are able to host the NSTP at BJACH every summer.”

McMickin said this was her first time being a preceptor.

“It is so beneficial to the Army to show students what we do to take care of Soldiers and their Families,” she said. “This was a great experience for me too. It was an honor to help. Serving in this capacity means I’m looked at as a leader, a positive example of what nurses should be, and I know a students’ experience with us can be a determining factor on if someone becomes a nurse or not.”

Col. Takako Barrell, deputy commander for nursing at BJACH, served as the keynote speaker during Savant’s graduation ceremony.

Barrell shared a Japanese saying, “kokoro no kate” meaning “of use to and from the heart.” She asked Savant, her family and those gathered to keep the saying in mind as she shared her interpretation of a 2019 Forbes article, Change Leadership: Why your head, heart and gut are critical to listen to.

“Imagine your head, heart and gut as three brains,” she said. “Each brain has several functions. Our head is great for thinking, our heart is led by emotions and our gut focuses on our sense of self and is the root of our courage.”

Barrell challenged Savant to listen to all three brains during her nursing journey.

“To paraphrase the article, our three brains should be applied to make a difference in us as change agents,” she said. “Our heart determines how passionate we are as leaders and nurses. Our head determines the achievement of our end state. Our gut is where our courage lies.”

Barrell questioned Savant how she will follow her head, heart, and brain to communicate, act and make decisions in her personal, educational, and vocational life.

“As a company grade officer, you will have the ability and responsibility to directly influence your subordinates,” she said. “As a nurse you will be defined by your actions. As an Army Nurse Corps officer, you will be preserving the strength of our nation by providing trusted and highly compassionate care to the most precious of our military Family – each patient.”

Barrell encouraged Savant to let her heart, head, and gut guide her and thanked her family for influencing and shaping her into the great future Army Nurse she will soon become.
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