For the past 10 years nursing students from Oklahoma City University Nursing Program have been fulfilling their pediatric clinical rotations at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital. These rotations are graduation requirements, but they also help guide students on their nursing career paths.
Christopher Roland, a nursing student at Oklahoma City University, is set to graduate in December of 2018. Growing up in Altus, Okla. Christopher never imagined he would be enrolled in nursing school. Shortly after graduating high school, he enlisted in the United States Navy as a musician. Christopher was sent on a humanitarian mission to Central America with a group of doctor and nurses that were providing basic health care to local villages. It was during this mission, that he felt the calling to care for others.
“Witnessing first-hand the care and compassion they had for their patients inspired me to want to do the same, so I decided I would enroll in nursing school when I got out of the Navy” said Christopher.
Before coming to The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital, Christopher knew he wanted to go onto pediatric of some kind and this opportunity completely satisfied his desire to help children, “The way the staff cares for their patients is amazing, all the activities they do from physical therapy to patient activity is such a holistic approach to care that I have never seen before. The staff really cares for these kids and it shows everyday how much they love them.”
Kristen Garza’s journey to become a nurse started at a young age when her mother was involved in a car wreck, leaving her in need of care at home. Kristen recalls how stepping up to take care of her mother changed her life forever, “I was only in middle school when I helped her to recover, but that is when I knew I wanted to devote my life to helping others and since that time nursing was a life goal for me.”
This rotation showed Kristen that nursing goes beyond textbooks and basic care, but involves an unlimited amount of love.
“The nurses here are amazing, they do more than just their job, they connect with the patients on a level I have never seen before and it has shown me a whole different side of nursing,” said Kristen. “The staff cares with such an open heart, they are so affectionate and give the patients their all. They make such a big difference in their lives.”
The Hospital has a relationship with over 70 schools across the country that send students in all fields of care to complete their clinical rotations. Christopher and Kristen are just two of the close to 800 students that rotate through the Hospital each year completing their pediatric clinicals.
“It is my hope that they see the compassion our nurses provide to patients with complex medical needs and will potentially consider it as a career opportunity. I also think our hospital provides a new perspective of the nursing field outside of the acute care hospital,” said Callie Rinehart, nurse educator, The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital.
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