Rachael DeSantis entered her first semester of college as an Exercise Science major with a concentration in Physical Therapy (PT). After two years she transferred to Plymouth State University and became a volunteer at Speare Memorial Hospital
“My experience volunteering at Speare was life changing to say the least,” explains Rachael. She was hoping to get some experience in PT; however, Speare did not have volunteers in that department so Rachael decided to try volunteering in the Emergency Department (ED). “Within two hours I knew I was going to love volunteering at Speare,” states Rachael. As time went along she not only became fond of the experience, but also of the nurses and the roles they played in patient care. “The staff took wonderful care of their patients and took time to explain things to me.” It was then that Rachael decided to bury her pursuit of a PT career and pursue a career in nursing.
Rachael’s experience gave her academic direction and taught her some unexpected things along the way. Rachael comes from a family of nurses and it was easy to overlook something that was so close to her. “After seeing the genuine care and compassion the nurses had for every patient and how hard they worked to provide the best care possible made me realize how much of an honor it was to have a family like I did,” Rachael states. “I have a new appreciation for nurses and what they do. I feel the nurses at Speare give more care and attention to every patient than I have ever seen from any other hospital I have been to.”
The experience also taught Rachael about people in general. She encountered a lot of different people and situations and explains “every person who walks through those doors has their own story and although 10 people might come in for the same problem, each one needs to be treated differently.” She learned so much about health care and hospitals. “I am so thankful for this and have truly become more educated and well rounded from this experience.” Rachael now says her ultimate career goal is to become a Pediatric Oncological Nurse Practitioner. “I really owe my academic and career happiness to the staff in the ED at Speare Memorial Hospital. The experience was more than I expected. They helped me find my true passion and calling.”
Contact: Jennifer Oldenburg, Student and Volunteer Services Coordinator
Department direct line: 603-238-6460
Department fax: 603-481-8777
Hours of operation: Mon-Fri 8:00am-4:00pm