Emily Lei ’19 is interested in a career in nursing, and this summer she’s gaining vital career-related experience to help her down that path. She is interning with the Visiting Nurse Service of New York’s (VNSNY) Hospice department, specializing in cardiology. Through her internship, which is supported by the Career Center’s First Year Forward program, she’s been able to work on building a diverse skill set and is gaining a lot of insight into the profession.
Hometown: New York City, NY
High School: Stuyvesant High School
This is Lei’s second experience with the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. While in high school, she volunteered at Chinatown NNORC, a retirement community. “I had a great experience interacting and supporting the elderly members of my community,” she said, “So I decided to reach out to VNSNY again to work with them under a different department/location for this summer.” She hoped to work with a nurse practitioner and became interested in Hospice when she learned about a new cardiac program they are developing.
As an intern with VNSNY, Lei works closely with her supervisor, a nurse practitioner who is working on a program that targets cardiac patients in New York City to bring them into VNSNY’s hospice program. She spends much of her time using VNSNY’s databases to find patients’ charts, schedule visits for her supervisor, and record new inpatients. Lei explains that this work has helped her to sharpen her data analysis skills. She also helps her supervisor to edit PowerPoint presentations on various cardiology topics, which has taught her a lot and enabled her to develop her research skills.
Lei also attends weekly interdisciplinary team meetings with nurses, counselors and social workers. She commented that these meetings “were intimidating at first, because I was the only person there who wasn’t a professional,” but ultimately she found them highly rewarding. “I have the rare opportunity to listen to all these different specialists discuss their patients, from a medical to spiritual to psychosocial perspective,” and she’s able to learn about many professions related to patient care.
Lei, who plans to major in biology, is interested in pursuing nursing after she graduates from Hamilton, and this experience is helping her to build toward that goal. She concluded, “This opportunity gave me the very valuable experience of working with RNs (registered nurses), NPs (nurse practitioners), and other professionals in the nursing field.” She’s also learned a lot about networking and maintaining professional relationships, another group of skills that will help her to develop a future career in nursing.