Olivia is the daughter of Shawn Jenkins, a former patient of the MUSC Children’s Hospital, and a nursing student at the Medical University of South Carolina. Olivia recently answered a few questions about her decision to attend nursing school and her journey with MUSC.
Tell us about your experience with MUSC Children’s Hospital.
When I was a few weeks old, I was treated at the MUSC Children's Hospital for something called torticollis, a fairly common but alarming condition in which a baby’s neck tilts to one side. At the age of 17, I was treated again at the children's hospital for a heart condition called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). Obviously, I do not remember being treated at a few weeks old, but being treated at 17 definitely influenced my work today because not many nurses have had the opportunity to be the patient. I saw firsthand how important nurses are and the impact they have on the recovering and healing process. I now get to help my patients on their recovery journey. I believe my experience as a patient helps me to understand my patients and what they are going through.
What made you decide to attend nursing school?
I am so incredibly excited to say I will be graduating nursing school in December and I could not be more excited to become a nurse and fulfill my dream of working at the MUSC Children's Hospital! I cannot say that I always wanted to be a nurse, or even work in the medical field; I thought I would do something with fashion. Then I began volunteering at the children's hospital a few years ago after my family made the gift to MUSC. I started meeting the patients, families, and MUSC staff, and immediately fell in love. I truly enjoy hearing their stories and being able to be a part of that story.
What has been your favorite experience with MUSC Children’s Hospital so far?
My family getting involved with the Children's Hospital has been a blessing. We have gotten to do so many amazing things for the patients, families, and staff at the hospital. One of my favorite events we hosted was a birthday party for my dad. Weeks leading up to his birthday he asked his staff to donate toys for his birthday and we collected over 2,000 toys and threw one big birthday party for all the patients and passed out the toys to the kids. To see the joy on their faces and the happiness throughout the entire hospital on that day was remarkable!
What are you most excited about in the new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital?
Honestly, there are too many things to name. Overall, I am very excited about the many more lives that will be saved with this new facility.
What do you and your family like to do for fun?
My family and I love to spend time together whether it is by the pool, on the boat, on family vacation, or at a RiverDogs game!