Every year since 2003, for six weeks in July and August, Boston Children's Hospital's nursing team has played host to a special group of high school students. The students are part of SCOOP (Student Career Opportunity Outreach Program), a summer internship designed to give them an opportunity to explore careers in nursing and health professions by being a part of the daily life and work of the hospital.
Since the program launched in 2003, the Clinical Education and Informatics Department, which manages SCOOP, has selected small groups of rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors to embed themselves in units throughout the hospital. Eva Gomez, MSN, RN-BC, CPN, staff development specialist in Clinical Education and Informatics, has managed the program since 2008 and was joined this year by Jenna Pollak, MPH, business analyst for Ambulatory Programs. The two say they could not be prouder of the work this year's group has accomplished in their short time at Boston Children's. "I couldn’t brag enough about them," Gomez says. "At the beginning, I asked them to put their best foot forward and that's exactly what they did and what they continued to do every single day."
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Above, David Nguyen, a rising senior at Everett High School, decorates the window of the Preoperative Clinic where he was placed. Wherever they are placed, SCOOP interns participate as team members in the care of patients.
SCOOP interns help staff with projects, organizing work areas, and supporting with non-clinical tasks related to daily operations. Christina DiConza (left), who graduated from Framingham High School this year, cleans toys in the 9 South play area.
SCOOP interns also often get involved with direct patient care, including reading to, playing with or holding patients - and sometimes just keeping them company like Hannah Kalish, a rising senior at Burncoat High School, does with an infant on 10 East.
Over the course of the program, the interns learned about the delivery of healthcare, including the behind the scenes work with getting bed spaces ready. Julia Thompson, who recently graduated from Marshfield High School, does just that while sharing a laugh with Deusilene Nicolas, CA, in the PACU.
Ashley Dutra, RN, BSN, staff nurse in Boston Children's Primary Care at Longwood walks Tegla Nelson through the unit’s medical supply room. Nelson is a rising senior at Cathedral High School in Boston.
"One of my goals for the program is that somehow the interns are transformed," Gomez explains. "They walk in one person and walk out another." Anna Reidy prepares a patient bed in the NICU. She is a rising senior at Doherty Memorial High School.
Mary McLellan, RN, staff nurse in Cardiology, goes through one of the unit's code carts with Samantha Menino. Menino is a rising junior at Academy of the Pacific Rim.
Halfway through the program, the SCOOP interns host one another, showing off what they’ve learned about their home units. On 6 West, Myra Butt (second from left) introduces Shaina Omoroghomwan (right) to one of the unit’s traditions – bubble parades for outgoing patients. Butt is a rising junior at Natick High School and Omoroghomwan is a rising senior at Waldorf High School.
Elena Brown, a rising senior at Brookline High School, listens in while Chris Reeves, RN, MSN, CPEN, and Deborah Romanowicz, RN, staff nurses in the ED, discuss a patient.
At the end of the program, the SCOOP interns pose with Gomez for anthem photo, promising to "offer a helping hand and a compassionate heart" until every child is well. Also pictured is Rebecca Schwartz (second from right), a rising junior at Framingham High School who worked on 9 Northwest.
Not pictured: Jessica Yee, a recent graduate of Foxborough Regional Charter School.