Sonali, a BS undergraduate student majoring in Biomedical Engineering, recently completed her third co-op with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Hear first hand how her hands-on co-op experience at CHOP led her to design, build, and successfully test a biomedical device for her senior capstone project.
BS Student in Biomedical Engineering with a Concentration in Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering
Advisors: Dr. Ken Barbee, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems; and Dr. Vinay Nadkarni, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
I am a premedical student, so I was primarily interested in this program because it seemed to bridge the gap between biomedical engineering and the practice of medicine.
My co-op experience was at CHOP, where I worked under the guidance of Dr. Nadkarni, a physician in the critical care department. At CHOP I shadowed physicians, nurses, therapists, and various other clinicians to uncover unmet clinical needs. A lot of my experiences were self-guided, with one experience leading me to another and another.
My project was to create a Neonatal Nasal Cannula Fixation device, which was to be continued during my senior year for Senior Design. I chose my project primarily because it seemed to be a feasible problem to tackle within the short time frame of senior design, and because there seemed to be genuine interest and need for the engineering solution, based on nurse and parent feedback.
I think I was impressed by how much autonomy I had. Each experience was entirely based on how much I was willing to put myself out there, who I was willing to talk to. I think that matured me a lot. I learned how to speak to and approach clinicians in the hospital, and also how to maintain the relationships I had made.
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