This week I had my first nursing school clinical rotation day at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the hospital I was treated at. My first clinical at CHOP is something I’ve been looking forward to for years, literally. Working at the hospital that saved my life 17 years ago is my dream, dream, dream job and having clinical there is like a tiny, tiny step towards that. I definitely want to go into pediatrics (specifically pediatric oncology, although I'm not on an onco floor now), so having the chance to learn at a hospital like CHOP is an amazing opportunity in the first place.
I’ve walked into the hospital literally hundreds of times, but today was markedly different. Instead of being with my family and heading to a procedure or appointment, I was with my peers, wearing scrubs and carrying my stethoscope. Walking through parts of the hospital and passing specific areas that my family frequented while I was in treatment (and still visit during my yearly appointments) definitely made me get emotional. In one area, there's a display case with pictures of nurses that have won various honors, and there's a framed picture of the woman that was my nurse practitioner during treatment, who passed away several years ago from her own battle with cancer. I teared up a little as I walked past it on my way out of the hospital, remembering how much she meant to my family and how her influence has inspired me to go into nursing.
It’s cool for me to have such a strong emotional connection to the hospital, but I’ll definitely have to learn with time how to maintain that without letting it distract me from my role now as a nursing student. For now, I'm looking forward to next week's clinical and learning as much as I can about caring for sick kids!