Junior, Ellen Hays, speaks about her past experience in Germany with the college of nursing with passion. Originally from Atlanta, GA, Hays knew she wanted to attend the college of nursing after a spur-of-the-moment visit to campus. A walk through the horseshoe, a visit to the simulation lab and talking to students and faculty motivated her to apply and enroll in the nursing program at the University of South Carolina.
As a nursing student who is also working part-time as a research assistant for Dr. Kelley Wilson, Hays revealed that finding a balance for all the activities, curricular and extra, is just as rewarding as challenging. Time, in fact, seems to be a nurse’s most trusted ally and feared rival. “You need time to get the grades you need to get into upper division, yet you also need to take time to really understand your patients and get to know them.” Hays also suggests getting accustomed to feel and handle a whole range of emotions to succeed as a nurse. Through her clinicals, she witnessed several scenarios that taught her the reality of the daily life of people working in the healthcare system.
Being fascinated by foreign cultures and by having the possibility to learn what it means being a nurse in other nations, Hays joined seven other students and two faculty members to Germany for a short-term study abroad experience in May of 2017. She visited Munich, Salzburg and Bamberg and had her first clinical experience in Nuremberg.
Hays is currently looking for an internship position in Atlanta for the summer and she believes her experience abroad has played an important part in shaping the nurse she is becoming. “Traveling is the viewpoint to other people’s lives,” she says, “and it is beneficial for everyone to understand other cultures and different ways of life.”