Work That Matters

Lifelong Learners

Expanding medical knowledge on the job at CHLA

My first experience working here was as a teenager in 2010. I attended Camp CHLA, which gives high school students the unique opportunity to spend a few weeks shadowing health care providers in different roles around the hospital. I got to shadow a nurse in the hematology and oncology department. I couldn’t help but notice the connections she had with her patients and her colleagues. You could see how the families respected her. You could see she was more than a nurse—she was part of each family. That’s what got me. That’s what inspired me to become a nurse, too.

When I came to CHLA I was blown away by the RN Residency Program. It’s a 22-week program that includes a bunch of different classes and more than 500 clinical hours. Everything I know about nursing is because of the program. My preceptor had me give reports so I would get used to the medical lingo. Along the way I also learned how to communicate with patients and their families, as well as doctors. By the end of the final week, I knew how to do everything a registered nurse needs to do.

What’s amazing to me is that even now, nearly a decade after Camp CHLA, the hospital continues to support me in expanding my knowledge. Currently I am certified as a pediatric nurse and a public health nurse. I’m not sure what to do next—whether to become an RNIII or go back to school to get my master’s degree to become a nurse practitioner. For now, I’m part of a group of 60 other nurses all learning to be ‘skin champions’ at preventing pressure ulcers and bedsores. The hospital is paying for us to gain this experience and expertise. That’s just one more reason I love it here.

— Rocio Delgado, RN, Medical Surgical Unit

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