MCPHILLIPS AKUKWE, BOSTON COLLEGE ‘22, GEORGE WRIGHT GOLF COURSE

HOW HAVE THE EVENTS OF THE LAST YEAR AFFECTED YOUR CLASSES AND WORK AT BOSTON COLLEGE?

“Last spring, our clinical and lab work at Brigham and Women’s Hospital came to a screeching halt and we transitioned to a fully virtual simulation format, which is really not at all the same as the hands-on experience you get being in-person at the hospital. I am so happy to be back for in-person clinicals once a week, this semester at Veteran’s Hospital in West Roxbury, and as time has gone on, I have become accustomed to working in full PPE. During my lab and clinical work throughout the last year we have been immersed in everything from traditional nursing work (setting IV’s, dressing wounds, administering shots) to more specific work in departments like Pediatrics & Newborns or Emergency Medicine. However, being in the hospital so often, it has really become clear that I (and my colleagues and classmates) must be fastidious when considering our exposure in public and to the virus. I am constantly aware of my surroundings and try to be as cautious as possible, as when I enter the hospital, I could be transmitting anything I bring in those walls to patients who are already at risk for one reason or another. We are taught that patient health is paramount, and we must consider this when making decisions about activities in our own personal lives.”

WHAT MADE YOU INTERESTED IN THE HEALTHCARE FIELD?

“I have known I wanted to work in healthcare for as long as I can remember. I have admired my mother since I was young, and she has worked at Suffolk County Jail as a nurse for nearly 20 years. She is an eternal optimist and has not let the stress and fear of the last year affect her commitment to her patients. Her outlook on life, and her job, has inspired me. What I really love about nursing is being in the hospital, performing patient care and interacting with people, and I think I gained a lot of that from learning from my mom growing up.”

AS GRADUATION APPROACHES, WHERE DO YOU SEE YOUR ROLE IN THE HEALTHCARE FIELD?

“I know this is unique, but one of my role models growing up was my pediatrician at Center Pediatrics in Brookline! He has had a huge influence on my life, and we remain close and in contact to this day. Without him, I really do not think I would be where I am today. So, after graduation, my plan is to get a job working in pediatrics, and eventually I plan to attend graduate school and earn a Master’s in Pediatrics to become a pediatrician.”

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