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Parini Gandhi Wins Co-op Award

May 10, 2016

Parini Gandhi, a senior in the five-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing Co-op program, was selected as the College of Nursing and Health Professions’ 2016 Co-op Award Winner. One student from each college is selected annually based on employer nominations, and Gandhi received an outstanding three nominations from her employers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in recognition of her amazing work on the Apheresis Unit.

“I have worked with several co-op students here in Apheresis in the past four years, and though they have all been outstanding, Parini has been exemplary in her service to our unit,” said Kathy Mullin, RN, one of Gandhi’s nominators. “Her knowledge, dedication and dependability were exceptional as she worked in tandem with our nurses to provide quality care to our patients.”

“Parini has an infectious spirit,” said Michele Smith, another one of Gandhi’s nominators. “She was happy and positive and that was displayed on a daily basis. She made the staff and patients laugh.”

“It’s awesome,” said Gandhi when asked about how it feels to be so highly regarded by the staff at CHOP. “It’s really great that they thought to nominate me and they thought that I did such a good job, but to me I just showed up for work. I just wanted to put in my best effort.”

Gandhi has worked at CHOP for all three of her Co-op cycles, demonstrating a strong desire to learn and make a difference as a nurse. She cited the summer after freshman year as the defining moment she realized what she really wanted to do. “I worked at a doctor’s office and got a feel for the differences between doctors and nurses, and I liked the nurses’ role better,” said Gandhi. “I didn’t want to just go in and see my patient for 20 minutes, prescribe medications and look at lab values. I wanted to be there for them the whole day.” 

After this realization, it didn’t take long for Gandhi to jump in and help others in need. At CHOP she provided excellent support for not only the Apheresis Unit, but also the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and the Renal and Adolescent Unit.

Gandhi always brought her compassionate and caring attitude with her to work and was still able to learn skills at CHOP beyond what she could acquire in the classroom. “No amount of school is going to teach you to talk to a crying kid that’s scared when their parents aren’t at the bedside,” said Gandhi. “Yes, you learn a lot more clinical knowledge in classes, but you really learn how to apply it all and do it in a graceful way and help your patients as opposed to just kind of throwing information at them.”

Gandhi has many options to pursue a successful career in nursing upon graduation this summer, thanks in part to her award-winning work as a Drexel Co-op. “My family is from Virginia, right outside of Washington, D.C., and going home is an option for me,” said Gandhi. “I went to a career fair near my hometown and when they saw CHOP on my resume, they were so excited.”

Pairing her experience gained as a Co-op student and her dedication to the field of nursing, it is clear to see that Gandhi’s future in the profession is a bright one, she eventually hopes to pursue her DNP.    Based on the testimony of her colleagues, Gandhi is without a doubt bound to become a considerate, caring, and committed nurse.

By Jacob Cushing ‘19