CHEPS Pulse: CHEPSter to CHEPSter the Nursing Edition, June 2020

In This Issue

CHEPSter to CHEPSter: Nursing Edition

An Interview with Hassan Abbas by Amanda Naccarato

Amanda Naccarato

Hass Abbas graduated from the University of Michigan School of Nursing in 2017. He began working for CHEPS the summer after his freshman year in 2014. As a current senior in the nursing school, I was thrilled when offered the opportunity to speak with Hass about his CHEPS experience as well as his current life as a registered nurse. It was nice to speak to someone who understood what it is like to be a nurse surrounded by engineers, which can be overwhelming but enlightening. After graduation, I am hoping to work in the field of pediatric oncology and eventually pursue higher education.

I began this conversation by asking Hass how he learned about CHEPS. “I found it randomly in a flier,” he said. “It said, ‘Are you an engineer? Nursing student? Etc. Are you interested in working at the hospital with a multidisciplinary group?’ When I saw multidisciplinary and it was with people like engineers and PhDs and masters with the doctors, I thought that was going to be cool.”

Hass Abbas

Being a nurse surrounded by engineers means that there is an opportunity to share knowledge and learn skills one wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to learn. “I was an asset to them because I knew some stuff in the hospital…and then as that happened, they were able to hit me with more of the engineering side of the information. It was a mutual progression.”

For future nursing students thinking about applying to CHEPS, Hass shares some good advice; “Take the leap. You might feel lost at first. It might not feel as natural as being in the hospital. The biggest thing that CHEPS gave me was just having that holistic mindset, and when you take the leap to get there it changes the way you think. It will set you up in so many different ways.”

Hass in 2015 presenting his CHEPS work at Nursing Research Day

After graduation, Hass began his career working at John Hopkins Medicine in the Cardiovascular Surgical Intensive Care Unit. After a rigorous two years, Hass decided to come back to Michigan and currently works in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at the Detroit Medical Center Harper Hospital. “I love the fast pace, the critical thinking…Here (Detroit Medical Center) it is just residents so you have to use your experience to guide them to take care of the patients. You have a lot of autonomy. I really enjoy it,” he said about his day-to-day work experience.

Working as a registered nurse during the COIVD-19 outbreak was tough for Hass. During the peak of the pandemic, he had to work several days in a row and explained just how unpredictable the disease truly was. “They are all crashing in similar fashions. There’s not really a care plan for the patients. Everybody is just trying things. They can’t have visitors, so it was just very grim.” On a personal level, Hass had to self-quarantine and wasn’t able to see his family. When asked about the disease by others, he said he told everyone the same thing, “It’s serious. People are sick. People are dying.”

Being a nurse can be unpredictable and challenging at times. As someone who will become a registered nurse by next year, I was interested to know if Hass had any advice to give to nursing students like me “You have to push yourself. Sometimes things won’t go your way, but you just have to realize that it’s your career,” he said. “You get to find that avenue that you like in nursing. That’s the beauty of nursing.” Hass also emphasized the importance of a work-life balance, “It’s something that’s not really harped on in school…when you do have a good work-life balance you can make so much of a difference. You’ll feel better going to work and coming home.”

Recent News

CHEPS Student Blog Posts

This summer CHEPS students are blogging to share life at CHEPS from the student perspective.

Where in the World Is CHEPS?

On Dean’s porch! CHEPSters are still working virtually but occasionally finding ways to get together outdoors while practicing social distancing! From Dean Golan, “My journal club had an in-person meeting today with pizza and cupcakes!”

Find previous Where in the World is CHEPS? photos on our website.

Center for Healthcare Engineering & Patient Safety | University of Michigan
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