Seniors pursue their dreams to save lives

Four Sacred Heart Greenwich seniors are embarking on a path to serve others.  Living out Sacred Heart’s third goal, a social awareness which impels to action, Olivia Wise, Grace Danahy, Caroline Kelly, and Adriana Arias will pursue their passions to help those in need through studying nursing,

At Boston College, Olivia will be studying nursing to set a course for her future career goals.  After college, she plans to begin working as a rotating nurse for one to two years and then go back to school to specialize in pediatric oncology or anesthesiology.

Olivia Wise ‘19 learning with her peers Adriana Arias ’19 and Abby Knight ’19, during their EMT course. Courtesy of Olivia Wise ’19

Olivia has always been drawn to the medical field, but her inspiration to go into nursing sparked specifically at the end of her junior year.  She took an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) course and attended a medical program at Georgetown University, where she shadowed a nurse and was able to clearly see the characteristics of a nursing occupation that was best suited for her.

“At Georgetown University I had actually realized that I did not want to be a doctor because I wanted more direct contact with patients,” Olivia said.  “I decided to shadow a nurse and loved the work she did with her patients.  Doctors also go to many years of medical school post-college and I was looking to start studying during college and begin working after college ends.  Nursing ended up being the best fit for me.”

Caroline will be attending the University of Pennsylvania next year where she will begin her career in nursing, heading towards her goal of becoming a nurse practitioner in a more specialized field.

Caroline’s interest in nursing came from more personal hospital experiences.  She always noticed the significant impact nurses have made on the lives of her family members and wanted to be able to have the same effect on others in need.

Likewise, Grace’s personal experience inspired her interest in nursing, which she will be further exploring next year at Elon University.  Because Elon does not have a direct nursing program, she hopes to study for two years after college to become a registered nurse and then take the courses to become a neonatal nurse.

Grace Danahy ’19 with her mom and two sisters, Katie Danahy ’17, Ali Danahy ’16. Courtesy of Grace Danahy ’19

Grace views nursing as a job that offers new challenges and excitement every day. Nurses who assist in the neonatal intensive care unit most strongly resonate with Grace, as they interact with new moms often undergoing stress due to health issues with their newborns.

“I was partially inspired to [go into nursing] specifically because of nurses who helped my mom when she gave birth to me, facing the challenge of being a single mother raising three children,” Grace said.  “I was also inspired by acts of helping those who are so vulnerable and cannot help themselves.”

The University of Pennsylvania will also be welcoming Adriana into their nursing program next year.  She is beginning her studies in nursing to achieve her ultimate career goal: to become an Emergency Room Nurse Practitioner and to touch as many lives as possible.

Adriana’s true interest in the medical field peaked six years ago, not from a real-world hospital experience, but from the first episode of Grey’s Anatomy, an American drama series.  She explained how the storyline health care provider saves patient’s life had her hooked.  In search of the excitement and thrill she witnessed in the show, she shadowed doctors and took an EMT course.

“These invaluable experiences allowed me to see what it is truly like working in the medical field and further solidified my desire to pursue a life of service to others through nursing,” Adriana said.

Each of the four seniors believes Sacred Heart has readily prepared them to enter the medical field in college and equipped them with the capabilities to manage the demands of the future.

Grace is most appreciative of the leadership skills Sacred Heart has taught her, and the ability to step up and take on challenges. She feels well-prepared with the manners and patience necessary to effectively work in In the midst of the stress that comes with being a nurse.

Olivia has learned, through her EMT course experiences and time spent shadowing professionals, it is essential that nurses are confident in their work, patient with people, and have a drive to continuously further their knowledge.  She believes Sacred Heart has equipped her with the confidence required to be a great nurse.

“Going to a small, all-girls school has given me the opportunity to share my voice and want to ask questions to learn more,” Olivia said.  “I think it is really important for nurses to voice their concerns during moments of excessive stress.”

Throughout their time at Sacred Heart, Caroline and Adriana have also developed a strong connection with Sacred Heart’s third goal and will carry the mindset of a social awareness which impels to action with them throughout college and life.

Each senior described nursing as a service more so than an occupation.  All four students take nursing as an opportunity to share their compassion with others and help those in need for the rest of their careers, which is their true passion.

“Sacred Heart has prepared me with the manners and patience I need to have with people no matter how stressful the day,” Grace said.  “Above all, I will carry the lessons of kindness, serving others, and overcoming obstacles, all of which Sacred Heart has taught me.”

Featured Image by Karina Badey ’19