Student Nurses

Grand Prize Winner - Tim Schickedanz, Student Nurse
(Univ. of Texas at Arlington School of Nursing / Harris Methodist, Ft. Worth, TX)
"Student Nurse Utilizes Practical Field Experience to Bolster Nursing Studies"
A student nurse at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Nursing and Medical Platoon Leader in an Armor Battalion with the National Guard, Tim’s first-hand experience as a Combat Medic in the Army, a patient care technician and work with the ambulance and fire departments makes him a top asset for the future of nursing.
PDF Articles:
The Nurse Lounge Jan. 2005
"So often, the people who come to the trauma center are at a crossroads; their condition can rapidly go in one of two ways, and nurses help steer them on a path towards survival."
The Shorthorn Sept. 2004
Star-Telegram.com Oct. 2004
UTA Magazine Feb. 2005
 
Nominated by: Kami Potter, RN, MS, AOCN  
 
When asked for a short summary of his life for this nomination, the first thing Tim wrote was that he is a survivor of childhood cancer. He has been a healthy survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma for nearly 30 years. Diagnosed at age nine and given two years to live, he has an understanding of what it means to beat the odds and to persevere.
 
Not only does he have a busy family life, Tim is currently the medical platoon leader in an armor battalion with the National Guard. He told me at the beginning of the semester, “It’s going to be challenging, but I am ready and looking forward to nursing school.”
 
On top of everything else, Tim works every weekend as a patient care technician in an emergency trauma center. He feels drawn to the split-second thinking and decision-making required of nurses who serve trauma patients. Tim explained, “So often, the people who come to the trauma center are at a crossroads; their condition can rapidly go in one of two ways, and nurses help steer them on a path towards survival.” He adds, “I want to work in a trauma center until I can’t lift a patient anymore.”
 
After graduating from college in 1989 with political science and economics degrees he says he was “bitten by the emergency medicine bug.” He spent nine years in the Army as a combat medic and earned the elite Expert Field Medical Badge and Air Assault Badge. He is also a certified firefighter and has worked with ambulance and fire departments.
 
On the last day of clinical, I asked each student to describe why they want to be a nurse and Tim replied, “I see the nurse as the person who is really there on the front lines. Nurses have the power to make a critical difference in patient outcomes, and I feel that I can make a contribution toward helping move the person with emergent needs in the right direction.”
 
In the critical thinking journals students write about clinical experiences, Tim wrote, “I realize how important the little things become to patients.
 
Tim recently shared with me an experience he had at work. An elderly man came through the emergency room and was stabilized for his chronic condition. While Tim was waiting with him for admission to the hospital, the man told him a joke and then asked Tim to tell him one too. Tim said, “I thought and thought about a good joke to tell him. Finally, one came to me, I shared it and we had a laugh.” The man seemed to savor the moment and was genuinely happy for the friendly exchange of humor. Soon after the man was transferred up to a unit in the hospital; a code blue was announced on the floor that the man was sent to and he died. Tim said, “Imagine, I shared his final laugh with him, I was the one who saw his last smile.”
 
Tim’s actions inspire others, and he has been an exemplary role model for the other students in my clinical group. When I taught IV insertion in our nursing skills lab, Tim was a respectful and humble listener. I know for a fact he has started more IVs than I ever will and could have taught the class by himself, but Tim was supportive and during practice later, he offered tips from his experience, and quietly assisted other students who were in need of more help.