Canadensis, Pa. resident Kylie Ferro ’24, a Public Health/Pre-Physician Assistant (PA) major, loves working the maternity unit at Wayne Memorial Hospital. It “has her heart.”
As a nurse’s aide, Ferro is charged with the care of five to seven patients each time she works at the hospital—whether that’s working in the emergency room, maternity unit, or another wing. As an aide in the maternity unit, she has assisted with a birth, taken vitals on newborns and mothers, and held the infants.
“I’ve been so lucky to see a birth,” said Ferro. “I love taking the baby vitals—we have special stethoscopes to do it. Babies heartbeats are much faster than adults, so you have to consider that when you’re taking vitals.”
While she took time off in the spring and summer due to the pandemic, Ferro returned to the hospital in August—balancing daytime classes with 3 to 11:30 p.m. shifts one day a week, plus weekends.
“It was a little different when I got back; I didn’t know all the new protocols,” said Ferro, who said pre-COVID the nursing staff would remove personal protective equipment (PPE) between patients, but due to shortages in PPE they now wear the same masks throughout their whole shift and can wear homemade masks. “Normally, we wouldn’t be allowed to wear homemade masks or masks that we bring from home. The new protocols are different, but we’re still busy with non-COVID cases.”
Ferro’s daily routine as an aide is to take vitals when she arrives; feed her patients—either dropping off trays or helping patients eat; care for their personal hygiene; and update charts. At the end of her shift, she briefs the nurse’s aide coming on shift.
“When I first started, I needed to make sure everything was done on time—I was so strict with my schedule,” said Ferro, who said she’s learned to be patient and flexible. “The patient is the ultimate center of responsibility. They’re my main focus.”
Ferro was inspired by her stepmom to get into a medical field. As a nurse, her stepmom would often bring home supplies that she would play with as a child. She had plans to be a nurse, until she took Allied Health courses in high school where she found an interest in the PA field. Now, as an aide, she’s found even more to motivate her future career.
“As I’ve gotten older and developed a more mature mindset, I’ve learned that a lot of people are afraid to go to the hospital,” said Ferro, who first heard this from her grandparents. “It’s really unfortunate that people feel that way, and if I can do anything to change that, I’d like to do it.”
Personal issues with her skin and seeing her mom go through skin cancer treatment has led to Ferro planning to work in dermatology. However, she’s open to new possibilities if she finds another passion during her PA clinical rotations.
“I want to do Arcadia’s PA program,” said Ferro. “Although I love working in maternity at the hospital, I really have an interest in dermatology because of my own experiences.”