August 13, 2019
Shalyn Merino is spending the summer interning in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she helps escort families to and from waiting areas and supports the nurses in their clerical duties.
It's a role that has introduced Merino, a rising junior at Dundalk High School and Sollers Point Technical High School, to the fast-paced world of highly specialized pediatric care and has inspired her to pursue a career as a registered pediatric nurse.
"It can be intense sometimes, or chaotic when there are a lot of emergency patients, but that's when it's the most important to be there," Merino says. "The patients' families are usually really unfamiliar in the PICU environment and overwhelmed by the equipment they see, and I feel like if I'm there for them, they feel better. The patients are usually sleeping after their procedures, but the parents worry that their child will wake up in a strange place and be scared, so if I can help them get to their child quicker, it feels really good."
Over the past 25 years, thousands of high schoolers who, like Merino, live in Baltimore City have spent their summers at Johns Hopkins as paid interns through the Summer Jobs Program.