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Kristen Bolton


School of Nursing

People Directory Affiliation Category

As a nursing student, going to clinicals can be really daunting. I was always anxious and on edge. However, KB made the whole experience really fun and constantly encouraged me to continue learning and explore everything my placement had in store for me. I remember before having KB as my instructor, I was really scared of my other instructors, and I found myself getting panic attacks the night before my shifts. On my 1st day of clinicals I was stiff and uptight she came to me to help me loosen up. I always felt like she was there and ready to support me, and she always tried to understand the nerves I had and would always give me words of encouragement. This provided a sense of security, especially in an environment where I felt scared sometimes. I feel like she truly makes an environment where her students feel valued and supported.

Anonymous Student

Mental health to me means so much more than just how we feel on a daily basis. I see it as a continuum that is constantly shifting for every human being even if we aren't always aware. 

Clinical practice in the nursing program can be a very intimidating experience. There is a true vulnerability about being a student and working with patients at their sickest. To support students mental health, I strive to instill a psychologically safe environment. In order to foster cooperative relationships with my students so that we can trust one another, I build into my orientation discussing core values and fears that students may have. Things are going to happen in the clinical setting that are going to be difficult for everyone, students and teachers alike. It's our role as educators to create a safe learning environment and this means working with the students to do so. 

I think it is important to remind students that everyone struggles and that we are all human. I try to encourage students to reflect on how much effort goes into maintaining physical health and that often we forget that the same should be put towards our mental health as well. I hope to always continue speaking openly about this topic in the classroom and clinical setting in hopes that I can help break the stigma about mental health that still exists.

--- Kristen Bolton