Sonia Teixeira, Shelton High school senior and soon to be graduate, completed her Capstone project at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Bridgeport. Her project helped her confirm that she wanted to become a pediatric nurse.
She always knew that she wanted to work in the nursing field due to having multiple family members in the same field, Teixeira said. St. Vincent’s was the perfect place for her to work because her grandmother works there and she was associated with the staff through them.
“It was almost as if I was bound and, in my future, that nursing was the career path I was going to take,” Teixeira said. “I was inspired to do my capstone at St. Vincent’s Hospital because I know many of the staff from my family and it was also easy due to the fact that I was already observing there for a class that I take at Shelton High School. I’ve always loved to help others and figured this was a great opportunity for me to get early experience and hands on work in the field.”
Although she did not have one specific mentor, her flexibility gave her the opportunity to shadow whatever nurse was free and explore multiple departments, she said,
“I mostly stayed in the rehab department where I saw job opportunities such as physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists,” Teixeira said. “With my mentor(s), I was able to see and help out with a lot of things such as take vital signs, move a patient to a chair to their bed, learn how to chart and also learn how to work certain machines such as an EKG machine.”
Teixeira was surprised how much she was able to see and do, despite only being a high school student, she said. However, she still faced multiple challenges, such as finding time early in the morning to work with nurse to see and do more things.
“One challenge I faced was not being able to be in the labor and delivery department or be around kids due to the fact that I am only a high school student. It was also hard to fit my hours with my work hours however I found a way to make it all work.”
After graduating from Shelton High, Teixeira will be attending Southern Connecticut State University for the fall semester to complete prerequisites and will then transfer to The University of Tampa.
“[My Capstone helped me be] able to see how hard working nurses and other staff are and how challenging charting and time management can be when working in this field,” Teixeira said.
“Growing up in a big family and working at a daycare being constantly surrounded by kids grew my love to be a pediatric nurse and doing this [Capstone] made me realize that that is definitely what I want to pursue.”