Study Abroad Experience Brings Nursing Major to Ireland

SEPTEMBER 15, 2015 - After spending a busy summer taking classes, shadowing an orthopedic surgeon, and working, Emily DeMaio (NHS’17) is beginning her fall semester abroad in Dublin, Ireland, where she looks forward to learning more about the country’s approach to nursing care.

Over the past three years, DeMaio has not only explored her interest in nursing, but also pursued a diverse set of experiences that have deepened her vision and goals.

“In my opinion, I wanted to capitalize on the opportunity to interact with a vast array of people because down the road, I will care for a vast array of patients as well,” she says.

A Place of Belonging

DeMaio’s journey within health care has been both personally and academically nuanced. For instance, watching the critical role that nurses played in her friend’s experience with cancer resonated with DeMaio.

At Georgetown, DeMaio has sought to combine her interest in nursing with her career goals in medicine. She credits the student community and the NHS faculty for empowering her motivations.

“I love being surrounded by like-minded individuals who are caring, conscientious, and passionate about health care,” she says, “Having a home, a place of comfort and belonging, and not simply a school has made the difference for me. “

Depth Through Diversity

DeMaio’s extracurricular experiences have deepened her perspectives and motivations in medicine. Before freshman year began, she participated in Leadership and Beyond, a pre-orientation program that empowered her to connect with peers to effect change.

These experiences framed DeMaio’s subsequent involvement in the Georgetown community. Over the next few years, DeMaio mentored six freshman students as part of the Emerging Leaders Program, interned with the Global Good Fund, and interviewed alumni as part of the Discovery Initiative.

“My work experiences outside of the health care setting have broadened my horizons and made me a more holistic and well-rounded individual,” DeMaio explains.

Sports Interests

Additionally, DeMaio is actively involved in basketball, and her experiences as part of the club basketball team have at times converged with her academic studies in nursing.

Over this past summer, DeMaio worked with the Club Sports Board, the club sports trainer, and other student leaders to secure the first ImPACT Baseline Concussion Testing for the women’s basketball team.

“Basketball has been an integral part of my life,” she says. “It has taught me resilience, perseverance, and the importance of hard work. Whenever I struggle with classwork, I think back to the patients I have cared for thus far and tell myself that I must persevere in order to one day become the best clinician that I can be.”

Looking Forward

DeMaio is especially interested in military medicine, and she intends to apply for the Health Professionals Scholarship Program and join the Air Force as a military physician and orthopedic surgeon.

As for now, DeMaio most looks forward to continuing her learning experiences at Georgetown.

By Celeste Chen (C’14, G’16)

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