Nursing Program Admires the View


Front row from left: Megan Allen, Kaetlyn Sluss, Caitlyn Reaves. Back Row L-R: Skyler Swaney, Autumn Overfelt, John Phillips, Jenna Lambert, Kavion Hayes, Michael Lopez. Assistant Professor John Phillips and the senior nursing class visited the Carilion Clinic Heliport at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital during their clinical experience on Monday, September 12, 2022. The helipad measures 80′ X 80′ at an elevation of 1112′ and receives 150 helicopters per month.

Abigail McGovern, Staff Writer

Chilly air blew around the knot of students gathered on the roof. Behind them, the mountains stretched out into the distance until they faded to blue. Below, people bustled about their lives. But this class was focused solely on what was ahead of them. 

On Monday, Sept 12, the nursing program took a trip to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital and spent around 15 minutes touring the helipad at the facility. John Phillips, assistant professor of nursing, organized the trip and stated that the purpose of the trip was to broaden the perspective of his students, and show how nursing is intertwined with other disciplines. 

“Our nursing program seizes every opportunity to expose our students to different areas of practice, especially from an interdisciplinary perspective,” said Phillips. “For one critical patient to be transferred or received requires many disciplines, including nursing, medicine, police/security, transfer center, and communications/dispatch.” 

The students in the nursing program use the Carilion facilities for many aspects of their learning, including their clinical hours. Nevertheless, the visit to the helipad provided several opportunities for them. 

“The visit to the helipad was to get an idea of what goes on when a trauma comes in,” Autumn Overfelt, senior, said. “I learned that it takes multiple people from a team to take care of a patient. I found it very helpful and the view of the surrounding area was very pretty.”

The class’ visit to the helipad also included information from the chief of Carilion’s police force, who spoke to them about his job and work with Carilion.

“He spoke very highly of Carilion as an employer and gave great advice on what to look for when searching for jobs,” Jenna Lambert, senior, said. “I found his knowledge and wisdom very valuable to me as I decide on where to work after graduation.” 

For the seniors in the nursing program, this visit to the helipad reminded them that their undergraduate careers are almost finished, and provided a view into potential careers in nursing.

“I think it was just an exciting thing to see as we near our future careers and start to envision where we could be in a few months,” said Lambert.

The senior nursing program members—not just seniors—also participate in activities such as observing surgeries, visiting outpatient clinics, and doing ride-alongs with home nurses, all of which help them build their knowledge and prepare for their careers as they look towards the future after this year.