How Osmosis Scholarship Winner Viktoriya Kislyak "Reaches Further"
Published on Jun 6, 2020. Updated on Sep 15, 2020.
Applications for the 2020 Osmosis Health Education Impact Scholarship are now open! Today we’re featuring an interview with Viktoriya Kislyak, a winner from the inaugural round of scholarship applications. Viktoriya is a Family Nurse Practitioner student at Walsh University who chose to “Reach Further” in the video she submitted as part of her application. Check out her full video on our scholarship page, or scroll down to the bottom of this article to watch it!
How did you hear about the Osmosis Health Education Impact Scholarship?
I had received an email from Osmosis about the scholarship, since I had previously made an account on the Osmosis website. It was in the back of my mind for some time until I had stumbled on the email again and truly considered applying for it.
What was your application process like?
Well, when I had first reviewed the email, I told my husband about the scholarship and how there was a video aspect to it. It was intimidating thinking about the video, but my husband encouraged me to apply and said we would pray about it. I remember reading through the questions on the application and thinking, “Okay, these questions are pretty straightforward and I know exactly what I want to expand and talk about.” As soon as I got the ball rolling, I had sent in my application that same day.
You chose “Reach Further” as the Osmosis value you identify with most strongly. If you had to choose another Osmosis Value, which one would you pick, and why?
The “Reach Further” value really spoke to my heart, because it has been a personal life goal of mine since I can remember to really be able to touch the lives of others. I also identify with the value “Start with the Heart” because it focuses not only on being caring and compassionate but also about improving access to medical care and health education for all. This is huge! We do not really realize how much we can offer as healthcare providers to our communities and where we serve. I think preventative care is a very large component to a wide variety of diseases and disorders that people face. Knowledge is power and spreading that information to everyone is a very important factor in the health of people on a global scale.
If you could do one thing different on your journey to Nurse Practitioner school, what would you change?
Well, the biggest stress for me in Nurse Practitioner school has been trying to find willing preceptors for my clinicals. I wish there was an easier way to be able to really get the experience we need before we start practicing on our own. I think a big part of that is that healthcare forces you to be so constricting with your time that many healthcare providers just do not find it practical to teach and take care of patients at the same time. I am so thankful for the current and past preceptors that have helped me to expand on what I learned but I also wish there was an easier way to get the clinical experience that we need.
In which countries have you performed volunteer work in the past? What did you learn there?
I have been on 6 missionary trips including twice to Matamoros, Mexico, Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and three times to the Western regions of Kenya. Each trip was a very humbling experience for me. I learned so much from the people and the culture, but the main thing I learned was to really give back what you can, whether that be your time, your knowledge, your education, your passion, your love—whatever you can to make a difference in someone's life.
I was involved with a number of ministries in Africa and I think the one that stands out the most to me was Embrace, a ministry focused on reaching out to the children who live on the streets and fall into the path of addiction. Underneath all of it, is just a child who was robbed of his youth and needs to see hope for a better future. It has been such a rewarding experience volunteering and sharing what I can with those all around the world.
How do you think organizations like Osmosis can contribute to improving the quality of healthcare education and practice, globally?
The Osmosis videos are very helpful for learning because they are visually appealing, easy to follow, and have a thorough and clear vocabulary. When I first started watching them for my pathophysiology class, my husband looked over to see what I was watching. He commented on how he really was impressed with the video and how easy it was to understand hypokalemia. Just imagine if we could take those videos to people who never understood their disorders or their symptoms. Just last year a cousin of mine was diagnosed with lupus and everyone was asking about what it was. I shared the Osmosis video, and everyone was able to understand the overview of the condition.
I remember in Kenya when I was still a nursing student, we were doing one of our mobile clinic days in a rural village. One of the women at the village was asking me why she had edema. When I looked at her feet, I noticed she had pitting edema that suggested to me that she had heart failure. Try explaining heart failure to someone who comes to our mobile clinic to fix the edema she has been having in her legs for years. The Osmosis videos are just such a great tool that can impact people all over the world.
How does it feel to have won the Osmosis Health Education Impact Scholarship? Anyone you want to shout-out or give thanks to?
I feel so honored and blessed to receive this scholarship. It has been an answered prayer for me and my family. If it was not for my parents to have the desire for a new life, to move from their homeland, and seek opportunities beyond what they could imagine, I would have never made it to where I am today. My parents always placed an emphasis on education, and I think that may be due to the fact that they never had the opportunity to pursue their dreams because they gave everything for their children. My husband also has been such an encouragement for me to reach further in my education. He was just the push that I needed to realize my true potential.
How has COVID-19 impacted your studies, and what advice do you have for students navigating these circumstances?
The pandemic has affected my studies in a very interesting way. Firstly, most of my classes were already online so there was no transitioning once the quarantine and stay-at-home order was placed. However, the other half of my education, the clinical aspect, was cancelled until further notice at the end of my spring semester and ongoing to the summer semester. Luckily for me, I had completed more than 90% of my rotation for Spring before we were no longer allowed to attend.
My university was very flexible and willing to work with students to get their hours of clinical experience in other ways so that we would not fall behind, and if this is something you are facing as a student I would get in touch with faculty as to how you can stay on track for graduation. Closing of clinical sites was a drastic measure but also a needed measure. It was an unavoidable circumstance as it was the direct recommendations from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).
If you are a student like me, who is currently facing a pause on the clinical aspect of your education, I think the most important thing you can really do is just continue to learn from the course work and just be patient about the clinical aspect. Everything will get done in due time, it is just a matter of waiting it out.
Viktoriya is a Family Nurse Practitioner student at Walsh University. A first-generation immigrant from Ukraine, she loves traveling, cooking, spending time with family, as well as serving the community and her heavenly father. She states, “Without the support of my husband, our son, family, friends, and God, I would never have made it this far in my life. I am beyond blessed with some of the most amazing people in this world.”
––––––––––––––Interested in applying for the Osmosis Health Education Impact Scholarship? As part of the process, we ask for a video telling us how you plan to embody one of the six Osmosis values in your clinical practice. You just might win one of six scholarships on offer: one $5,000 prize and five $1,000 scholarships are available. Applications are now open, and close on August 17, 2020.
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