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MS Student Carly Campbell Advocates for Compassion in Palliative Care

May 2, 2022

White female in a gray t-shirt, wearing glasses and a head band holding a large domestic cat“My hope, for when I graduate from CNHP, is that I will be able to take the skills, ideas and concepts I’ve learned to treat the whole patient with compassionate care,” says Carly Campbell, BSN, and current graduate student in the MS in Complementary and Integrative Health program. Campbell currently serves as an oncology nurse and balances her career with advancing her studies at Drexel. 

As a full-time nurse, in addition to master’s student, Campbell is aware of the current challenges facing nursing in 2022, and yet she remains hopeful that new perspectives on persistent health inequities may lead to more robust and individualized care for patients.

“Everything can feel rushed in a hospital,” Campbell notes. “It can be such a challenge to delivering quality care. And yet, I am someone who has always believed that I am treating a whole person. They are not just their disease.”

A low coffee table scattered with stacks of white papers surrounded by a school notebook, text book and open laptopCampbell was drawn to Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions for her graduate studies because the Complementary and Integrative Health program offered her the opportunity to study health and wellness from internationally recognized leaders in the field. This evidence-based program provides health care professionals with the tools to assess, guide and evaluate patients by merging complementary and integrative health practices into the framework of conventional clinical practice. Coursework explores topics such as phytomedicine, functional nutrition and mind/body modalities, providing a solid foundation in core competencies, as well as a theoretical basis for applying these practices.

“Take cancer, for example,” Campbell suggests. “If you receive a cancer diagnosis, you may also receive a chemotherapy treatment plan. We have chemo for a reason, and yet we also have mindfulness, meditation, essential oils, yoga and more. These interventions are common in other countries and have been practiced for centuries. It is considered ‘novel’ in the United States, and yet, my program at Drexel highlights how these are also options for patients.”

Campbell says that one of the biggest surprises of her nursing career so far has been a passion for palliative care. While some may see a challenging diagnosis or long-term treatment plan, Campbell sees an opportunity to grow her communication skills as a nurse to best learn about and tend to the multi-faceted needs of her patients.

MSN student Carly Campbell is showing Philadelphia Flyers mascot, Gritty, how to wear personal protective gear
A very different kind of protective gear for Philly Flyers mascot.
“I love palliative care,” Campbell shares. “While I didn’t anticipate becoming such a passionate advocate for palliative care education, it has become one of my favorite areas of healthcare.”

From her graduate studies, Campbell is learning how to stitch together Western medicine’s tools, techniques and procedures with international perspectives on wellness and healing. “When you take a complimentary approach to palliative care,” Campbell concludes, “You can really help patients live their best, most comfortable lives.”



Written by Izzy López