Caring for kids points Tinley Park teen toward nursing career
BY CHERYL DANGEL BARTOLINI Correspondent January 4, 2013 5:52PM
Alyssa Tromp, of Tinley Park, has wanted to become a nurse since her freshman year at Andrew High School in Tinley Park. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun Times Media
Updated: February 8, 2013 6:01AM
Alyssa Tromp has wanted to become a nurse since her freshman year in high school.
The Andrew High School senior is well on her way, having taken steps that figure to give her a head start in nursing school.
As soon as she realized she wanted to go into the medical field, Tromp, 17, asked her parents, Patricia and Robert Tromp, of Tinley Park, for advice.
Tromp’s mother, who works at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey, introduced her to some of the nurses there, and Tromp asked them about their jobs.
To prepare for nursing school, she filled her class schedule with a number of science classes, including honors anatomy and physiology. And last summer, she was invited to participate in a nurse-shadowing summer camp at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
“This experience made me realize that nursing is definitely what I want to do and it helped me realize what department I wanted to work in and specialize in,” said Tromp, who wants to work in child oncology. “I like kids and I have a family history of cancer. Making kids happy and playing special games with them interests me. They are often in and out of the hospital so much that you really get to know them, and when a child overcomes cancer and they come visit, it is a good feeling because you made a difference in their life.”
In September, Tromp was selected to be one of 10 Andrew students to enroll in the school’s first emergency medical technician class.
She leaves school three days a week and travels to Trace Ambulance in Tinley Park to get hands-on experience.
Two days after those 10 students graduate from high school, they will graduate from EMT school with accreditations in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), pediatric emergency pre-hospital provider, and geriatric emergency medicine system.
This accomplishment will allow them to take the national board exam to attempt to become licensed EMTs.
“It is pretty awesome that when I graduate high school, I can have a real adult job,” said Tromp, who started her hands-on training in December.
She has to accumulate 500 hours working directly with patients to graduate.
“It is an awesome experience to be able to go on the ambulances, and I hope I can begin saving people’s lives right away,” she said.
Tromp has a 3.85 grade-point average and has received awards for being in the top 10 percent of her class throughout high school. She is involved in student council, class council, the variety show, Club Med, German Honor Society, National Honor Society, and freshman homeroom leader.
Tromp is an advocate of organ donation and regularly donates blood at Heartland Blood Centers in Tinley Park.
She is fast approaching receiving special recognition for achieving 100 community service hours and a special red cord at graduation, given to those who donate blood six or more times.
She does all this, plus works two jobs — at the Creamery and Kimberly Bond Boutique — and dances at least six hours a week at a local dance studio.
She has danced since she was 3 and volunteers as a student teacher for children under 6 and those with disabilities.
She has been accepted at St. Louis University in Missouri; her acceptance in the nursing school is pending.
Tromp plans to become a traveling nurse.
“Once I pass my board, St. Louis University will place me in an area for three months or so and they pay my rent and expenses,” she said.
Tromp said her mother is her mentor.
“She helped me with the college search and is helping me to find scholarships. She is just always there,” Tromp said.
Getting prepared for nursing school keeps Tromp motivated.
“I need good grades because everything is really rigorous. I’m taking harder classes to get myself as prepared as I can be so that when I go into nursing school, it will be easier for me,” she said.