Samantha Tedesco ’19 was a part of Carthage’s first nursing cohort and is working as a registered nurse at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. She works on the cardiovascular-thoracic step-down unit, caring for patients who suffer from heart failure and high blood pressure and some who may be recovering from chest tube placements or even heart transplants. While caring for these patients and their family members, Ms. Tedesco focuses on safety and infection control, health promotion, psychosocial integrity, basic care and comfort, and much more.
“From getting my patients an extra pillow to infusing medications through an IV pump, I do my best to ensure that their time in the hospital is as comfortable as possible.”
While at Carthage, Ms. Tedesco was a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Fraternity and the Sigma Theta Tau International Honors Society of Nursing. She was vice president for both the Carthage Nursing Student Council and Zeta Tau Sigma.
Ms. Tedesco was a recipient of the Carthage Gold Leadership Award and the Carthage Academic Honors Scholarship. She was also on the dean’s list and graduated magna cum laude. She credits her professors for her success as a student, noting the effort and care they take to make sure each student excels both in the program and in their careers post-college.
“At Carthage, I have found that each professor truly cares about the success of every student. The nursing faculty has especially gone above and beyond to ensure the success of my classmates and myself, and I do not think any of us would be where we are today without them.”
What have you enjoyed most about your career?
“So far I have most enjoyed the constant learning that takes place on the floor. Whether you are a novice nurse or an expert nurse, there is always something new that another nurse can teach you. I have also really enjoyed seeing the improvements that patients make during their stay, how grateful they are, and knowing that I was able to make a difference in their care.”
How did Carthage prepare you?
“Throughout my four years at Carthage, I had the opportunity to help plan, develop, and implement different aspects of the Nursing Program. This was a great learning experience for me in that I was presented with many leadership opportunities, classroom challenges, and team-building projects. These experiences have allowed me to grow as an individual and have prepared me for the challenges of the nursing profession. From working with my classmates on projects and case studies to inserting my first IV catheter in a patient, Carthage has provided me with so many opportunities that have furthered my knowledge and abilities as a student nurse. After four years of preparation, challenges, and studying, I am proud to say that Carthage has given me a great educational experience and the knowledge and skills necessary to become a registered nurse.”
Tips for current Carthage students:
“For those pursuing nursing, if it were easy, everyone would be a nurse. It’s okay to not get an ‘A’ on every exam; it’s okay to ask questions; it’s okay to be wrong. Nursing is one of the most difficult areas of study, but the end result is worth it. You will get there.
For all students: Remember to take time for yourself. Mental health is so important, and it is easy to become overwhelmed with courses, extracurriculars, and social activities. Study hard and have fun, but don’t forget to take breaks and do what you enjoy every once in a while. These four years will go by in the blink of an eye, try and focus on what is most important to you.”
Favorite Carthage memories:
“Some of my favorites Carthage memories are rooming with my best friend in The Oaks our junior year, and then moving into and decorating our first apartment during our senior year. We loved taking walks along the bike trail and attending the Kenosha Harbor Market on Saturdays. I also really enjoyed being a part of the first nursing cohort and spending time in the simulation lab practicing skills and studying, working with experienced nurses during our clinical rotations, and learning about the different areas of nursing.”