Fighting Eagles Cadets Experience Army Nursing for the First Time at Madigan Army Medical Center

By: Cadet Lucas McCune

During National Nurses Week this past May, three Eastern Washington University (EWU) Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Cadets visited the Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM).  The trip to Madigan was sponsored by the nursing team at the 8th ROTC Brigade headquartered at JBLM.  Each ROTC battalion in 8th brigade was able to send nursing prospects to participate in the tour.  The EWU ROTC battalion sent the most nursing prospects with three Fighting Eagles Cadets, Lucas McCune, Jenna Knight, and Emma LaTour taking advantage of this great opportunity.

From Left: EWU ROTC Cadets Lucas McCune, Jenna Knight, Emma Latour, and Major Myra White the 8th ROTC Brigade nurse.

This tour was the first one the brigade has ever held for Cadets which is why this tour was so special. By the end of the tour, all the Cadets agreed that the trip was invaluable because of the advice they received for their future path in nursing. Not only was the tour beneficial for understanding the duties of army nursing, but a great way to create new bonds between Cadets throughout the brigade.

As the Cadets began to arrive to JBLM on Friday May 10th, they were given time to eat dinner and get to know one another. Shortly after, it was lights out for an early start for the tour of Madigan Hospital the next morning. On the morning of May 11th, the Cadets got ready for the day and were transported to Madigan to begin their tour. Once breakfast had been eaten, the Cadets were given a warm welcome by a few experienced army nurses who would ensure that the duties of Army nurses were understood as well as their specialties.

The tour encompassed a large portion of the hospital. The Cadets began their tour in the Emergency Room which led to the radiology center, intensive care unit, post-anesthesia care unit, as well as patient care rooms and end of life care. Each area of specialty was introduced to the Cadets and explained by a different nurse who worked in that sector. The Cadets were given lots of advice and information on the duties of what each nursing specialty focuses on as well as given time to freely ask questions.

Madigan Army Medical Center via Wikipedia.

As the tour was coming to an end, the cadets were given the opportunity to ask a large variety of Army nurses questions in a panel. Throughout the day, the cadets had been preparing questions to ask to help figure out what path of nursing would suit them best. Here the army nurses offered a variety of experiences and answered questions on the duties of nursing, gave advice through the path of nursing, as well as what to expect on deployments and life as an Army nurse.  Cadet Emma LaTour really enjoyed the panel of experienced and new nurses because “we could ask them questions about nursing and at each level they all had something different and helpful to say”.

When the panel ended, the Cadets thanked everyone for taking time out of their day to teach them more about the profession they would be going into. Even though there were many different types of Army nurses, they all shared something in common. It was the “care and compassion that all the nurses and personnel had for their patients,” said Cadet Jenna Knight.

Coming into the tour, most of the cadets knew they wanted to pursue a career in nursing but were not sure what exactly they wanted to do. By the time the tour had come to an end, most of the cadets felt confident in what they wanted to pursue in their near future. On the following morning of May 12th, the Cadets had one last breakfast together and all agreed that this tour was something they hope all future nursing Cadets would get to experience. From the moment the Cadets had arrived to JBLM and left, they had learned so much about their future profession as well as making friendships that would last a lifetime. This tour allowed Cadets to be guided along the daily routines of army nursing as well as begin finding their own path of nursing due to this special opportunity.

For anyone interested in learning more about Army nursing and how to become a nurse through the EWU ROTC program please visit our nursing webpage.  The page is filled with information on how to become an Army nurse, scholarship information, and what to expect in the EWU ROTC program.

Go Army Nursing!  Go Fighting Eags!

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