Meet our next alumni spotlight, Sarah Spitzer! Sarah grew up in Texas and Belgium before attending Brigham Young University and returned to Texas after graduation. She loves spending time with her family, traveling, exercising, and reading, and is currently working at Cook Children’s Hospital as a pediatric ICU nurse.
Sarah says she first thought of nursing as a career after experimenting with syringes in her high school science class. Additionally, she gained exposure to nursing by watching medical TV shows. She says, “Despite all the drama, I was struck by how patient interactions were portrayed. I liked the idea of having a career based on forming relationships with others while also caring for and serving them.” Sarah learned about patient interaction through her education at BYU College of Nursing and practices it daily.
Between her junior and senior years in Provo, Sarah had the opportunity to complete an internship with the Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. She had a great experience and was accepted into the residency program shortly after. Throughout her residency, she rotated through different hospital units, including medical/surgical and critical care. She describes the training as a foundational experience that helped her transition from school to full-time nursing. After rotating through, Sarah was placed in the pediatric ICU and didn’t look back. She says, “I fell in love with the ICU and the variety of patients we get. We see all sorts of different diagnoses and kids, from tiny babies up to young adults. I like all the variety, and after eight years, I am still learning new things every day.”
Sarah fondly remembers her time on campus learning the Healer’s art. The hymn “Lord, I would Follow Thee” has become important in her life. She said, “I never really thought much about the hymn before I got to nursing school, and now I can’t sing it without getting emotional. The line ‘I would be my brother’s keeper’ is so important, and I feel it is our purpose here. We care for each other as Christ would when he can’t be here.” She is grateful to have learned about healing in spiritual and emotional ways along with her traditional nursing education and says it helps her to provide better care for her patients.
After going through the nursing program herself, Sarah’s advice is to appreciate nursing school’s opportunity and find good friends to study with. She also said for students who are getting ready to graduate, it is vital to have an open mind and a willingness to learn as you begin your career. “Showing a genuine interest in others and helping them feel that you’re there to help them and care for them, whether that’s patients, co-workers, parents, or whoever is so important. Know that as a nurse, you’re there to work with others as a team to help your patients.” Finally, speaking from experience, she says to be confident in yourself because nursing school gives you the tools you need to succeed.