Hillcrest Educational Centers allows for an abundance of training opportunities for staff. Some have become certified as Residential Child and Youth Care Professionals (RCYCP),Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) instructors or Girl’s Circle/ Boy’s Council facilitators.
In the Summer of 2015, under the direction of Nancy Monti, Hillcrest’s Director of Nursing, there were many college students filling internship roles across the agency. Additionally, Hillcrest has recently been involved in the local community training school personnel and parent groups about the strategies needed to deal with challenging behaviors exhibited by children. It was not until recently that Hillcrest expanded opportunities for nursing staff to join the other agency trainers.
This summer, for the first time, the nursing department experienced the pleasure of welcoming LPN students from the Charles H. McCann Technical School in North Adams, MA. There were 16 nursing students, months away from completing their training, who came to the Hillcrest campuses to observe and interact with our student population.
It was an opportunity that allowed our skilled, dedicated nurses to impart some of their clinical expertise. This allowed the McCann students to understand the challenging opportunities that may be available to them in residential school/ psychiatric nursing. It seemed to be a short six-hour mentoring session but was enjoyable for both sides and covered much material.
HEC nurses were prepared with guidelines and sample schedules to assist in organizing their time. The LPN students arrived ready and willing to get the most out of their observation. Comments from the McCann students, received after their rotation, allow for a celebration of success. The student nurses confirmed what we already understand. In the words of one student, “They have much to offer and are great examples of first-rate nurses”.
Here are a few additional comments received by the McCann instructor Sue Watson, MSN,RN:
“I enjoyed this rotation. It was a unique environment and I felt welcomed.”
“This setting was great insight into psychiatric nursing. I gained good experience.”
“I had an extremely positive experience here; learned a lot about behavior disorders and autism.”
It will be our goal to continue such success as we maintain and develop an ongoing relationship with the McCann nursing students. It is with great hope that we await another rotation next summer. The McCann LPN students will again arrive on our campuses again in Summer 2016 to be side by side with our nurses learning that what we do here at Hillcrest is truly remarkable.