Friday, June 7, 2013

Coming Full Circle: Cancer Survivor, Rocco Catrone ’13, Interns With Health Care Professionals Who Treated Him

Rocco Catrone, '13 (psychology major) recently completed an internship at Advocate Hope Children's Hospital where he was treated for cancer years ago when he was a child. Below he shares a bit about what he did and learned through this special opportunity.

Rocco Catrone, '13

During my spring semester of senior year at Elmhurst College, I was a psychology external at Advocate Hope Children's Hospital in Oak Lawn, IL. I worked under Gabrielle Roberts who was the only clinical psychologist on staff at the hospital who provided one-on-one therapy, group therapy, resources for patients and support for the staff in times of crisis. My job was to help her complete the first ever baseline psychological assessment, intended to be completed every 4 months for comparison, in the cystic fibrosis clinic. I was responsible for running a basic interview test called the BASC-2 and writing a summary after entering and analyzing the data. Through this part of the internship, I learned how to conduct myself as a professional during the interviews while also becoming confident and proficient in using a new type of computer software.

The other part of my internship was the most influential in my career development and personal favorite portion. I would go on rounds with the psychologist and was a part of a multidisciplinary team with doctors, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, nurses and social workers. It was amazing to see how efficient the group was and that the hospital recognized the value in creating a diverse team to better meet the needs of the patients. In addition, the teams I was a part of saw me as a professional, not just a student. They would ask what I thought about a certain patient, and I was expected to recite the results of the tests I ran. I learned how to present myself in a non-threatening and professional way with the patients so that they would not experience more stress with more people in their room. I even was a part of therapy, working directly with some of the children. After completing this internship, I realized that I want to one day work in a hospital as a clinical psychologist and have built relationships to help me get there. Perhaps one of the most personally rewarding parts of this internship was being a part of the team with doctors and other health care professionals that helped me when I was a patient with cancer. It was amazing to have the doctors who treated my cancer as a child hug me and smile seeing one of their successes. It made me realize how much they care about the health and prosperity of their patients. This experience will always hold a special place in memories and my heart!

 Advocate Hope Children's Hospital where Rocco Catrone completed his internship.

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