Lynne Chow, NUR ’24, Seattle, WA
This summer, I had the amazing opportunity to work at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Main Hospital as a Nurse Tech in the Emergency Department. Beginning this summer opportunity, I was unsure of what field of nursing I wanted to pursue. Now, three months later, I am confident to say that I am an aspiring pediatric nurse. Working with different families from many different backgrounds has taught me a multitude of valuable life lessons.
As a Nurse Tech, I was responsible for greeting patients and their families, obtaining patient vital signs, point-of-care testing, assisting nurses in medication/IV insertion procedures, and documenting those items on their electronic health record. Throughout the summer, I also shadowed emergency medicine nurses and physicians. I became familiar with many treatment pathways, common disease processes, and basic hospital protocols. From learning how to conduct a bladder scan, to obtaining an EKG on a pediatric patient, to finding medical supplies in the supply closet, I learned something new every shift.
Having the opportunity to shadow the nurses and physicians in the emergency department was one of the most valuable opportunities from this experience. I was able to participate in very hands-on care for patients, ranging from newborns to patients older than I am. I learned that CHOP cares for patients with life-long chronic conditions into adulthood. The nurses usually had three room assignments in the ED, with patient acuity ranging from 1-5 (1 being critical condition, and 5 being least urgent). I took every opportunity to ask questions, comb through patient charts, and research the many new disease processes that I was unfamiliar with.
My experience at CHOP this summer was very similar to my previous experiences in clinical courses. Nurse Tech and Student Nurse are synonymous terms. However, I found that as a Nurse Tech, I had much more autonomy. Being in a more independent role, I had to advocate for my learning experiences and insert myself in situations where it did not feel the most comfortable. Over the three months, I promised myself to take advantage of every learning opportunity I could get. Whether it be entering the trauma bay during a code-blue to observe or attending patient rounds, there is always something to gain.
I am very grateful for the opportunity to be employed at one of the nation’s best pediatric hospitals. As I begin my last year at Penn, I am excited to continue as a Nurse Tech at CHOP during the school year. I am hopeful to learn more on what it means to be a passionate pediatric nurse who never fails to advocate for their patients.
This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2023 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here.