CTX Alumna on the Front Line of COVID-19: Chelsea Oheim

Jun. 23, 2020 by Adriana Thompson

Chelsea OheimRanked in 2019 as the fifth-best nursing program in the country by RNCareers.org, the Concordia University Texas Nursing program is well-respected in the community. Students who earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from CTX are taught by experienced professors, and they gain hands-on experience in simulation labs and clinical rotations.

Discover how Chelsea Oheim (2014 alumna), a nurse practitioner (NP) is leveraging her BSN from Concordia to pursue life-changing work and help the Austin community battle the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

[The following responses were written by Chelsea Oheim.]

Favorite Non-Educational Part About CTX

I loved Concordia’s beautiful campus. It’s hard to beat going to school on a nature preserve! I think I spent more time outside on the CTX campus, soaking up the beautiful view, than I did inside during my time at Concordia.

Favorite Educational Part About CTX

The small class sizes were a great benefit for me because I was able to not just contact my professors but also know them personally. It allowed me to ask questions and get individualized attention when I needed it.

I also loved the Nursing program itself and the vision and values taught to us as CTX nurses.

Why Did You Become a Nurse?

I wanted to make a positive difference for people experiencing the worst day of their life.

I was inspired by my youngest sister’s experiences. She has Down Syndrome and required a lot of medical care in the first few years of her life. Her nurses and medical team inspired me to want to care for others the same way they cared for her.

How Has CTX Prepared You for This Profession?

The CTX Nursing professors were top-notch. They taught us what nursing is truly like, so we felt prepared when we entered the workforce. They inspired us to treat every patient we encounter with respect and dignity. They taught us to take our profession very seriously and practice with excellence as we literally hold people’s lives in our hands. They taught us to continue to pursue lifelong learning and further education.

I was so inspired by the expertise of my nursing professors (many of whom were nurse practitioners), that in my first year of nursing school, I decided I would continue my education after earning my BSN and pursue a master’s degree and nurse practitioner certification (NP), which I completed in December 2018.

Without their support and encouragement, I would not be where I am today.

Story About Working on the Front Line During the COVID-19 Pandemic

I am working at a COVID-19 triage center, where I assess patients who have symptoms of a viral illness. I determine whether or not they could have COVID and treat their illness accordingly.

One thing that has struck me over the last few weeks is that no one was truly prepared for this, as we have never faced anything quite like this, and every plan and protocol that has been created in response is new to everyone. Many of us had to step into roles we were uncomfortable with and acquire new skills and knowledge very quickly.

Everyone has responded to the needs around our city quickly and sacrificially, despite the difficulty. It has been inspiring to me to see the healthcare professionals in Austin come together over the shared goal of supporting and healing our city during this pandemic.

How Has Your Faith Impacted You During This Pandemic?

This has been a frightening and uncertain time for everyone, myself included. My faith has carried me during this pandemic. I have found hope and comfort in knowing that God is with me, what’s happening in the world is not a surprise to Him, and He promises to work all things for our good.

Many people need to hear the message of God’s hope and peace during this time, and I am grateful to get to share that message through the way I live my life and care for others.

Concordia University Texas thanks Chelsea and all other front-line workers as they serve others.

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