Senior co-captain Kate Murphy worked as a candy striper in high school because she thought it would look good on her college applications. Little did she know that it would turn into a passion for helping others and a career in nursing.
Murphy returned to the hospital this summer but left the candy striper outfit at home. The Flourtown, Pa. native worked on the oncology floor at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) as an extern.
“I really liked working at the hospital and nursing is a good fit for me,” Murphy said. “As a nurse you work hands on with the patients and you have a personal effect on them. I really like the personal interaction with the kids.”
“I saw several of the same patients over the summer who came in for treatments every few weeks; you get to know them and build a relationship with them.”
Murphy was paired with a nurse for the summer and shadowed her throughout her shifts. She worked 8 to 12 hour shifts, including the night shift.
“Most of the program is watching and learning. The nurses did a great job explaining procedures. I was getting to see hands on what I had learned in the classroom for the past three years. I was actually able to see the stages each child was in and was able to recognize those stages. After awhile I was able to assess patients, read vital signs and administer medications.”
CHOP is one of the best research hospitals in the world and Murphy got to see hands on just how cutting edge it really is.
“I saw treatments that are only performed at CHOP. Patients from France, Israel and Japan flew to Philly to be part of a research program at the hospital. I saw everything from chemotherapy treatments to bone marrow transplants. I was able to take care of newly diagnosed patients as well as patients who needed end of life care.”
“It’s hard to think about the kids who passed away, but I have learned so much from them. I learned more than just nursing; I learned from them what it means to have courage and strength. They taught me to value my life everyday.”
Murphy also learned something else about herself - she wants to be able to give back to nursing students the way she learned from her instructors this summer. “I would like to go to grad school to pursue a Master’s in education. I want to be able to share my knowledge with others and perhaps someday teach at a University.”
According to her field hockey coaches, Murphy has become quite the recruiter for the nursing program. “I love to talk about nursing. I have spoken at several of the University Preview weekends and will do a few this year about being a student-athlete in the nursing program as well.”
Murphy will continue to work at the hospital throughout the school year and after graduation.
~ Written by Heather Palmer, associate director of athletic communications