It’s not unusual for someone to mention they just discovered the Chester Matters Blog, but what is unusual is one of those persons telephoning me and telling me to come talk to their students.

Judith Bonaduce, PhD. RN-BC called me insisting I come chat with the Widener University Student nurses who set up shop a couple days a week at the Stinson Towers in Chester to get experience caring for seniors living there. Okay, maybe she didn’t insist, but she obviously wanted me to stop by, and giving me no topic or subject to speak on, I was on my own.

I opened with a heartfelt thank you to those students for choosing the field of nursing. Those of us who have ever experienced health challenges, or know someone who has, it’s the nurse you have the most contact with and they have a major influence on your care, comfort and recovery.

I brought along a few issues of the Chester Matters paper and explained how each issue focused on a specific theme like Women, Education, Crime/Violence/Justice, and how I had hoped to get out the Health & Wellness issue by now. Now that I’ve met them, they agreed to help me put it together.

I reminisced on my college days where the two toughest majors were engineering and nursing. I doubt if that’s changed much today and surely those professions still command a great chance of finding great paying opportunities after just 4-years of college. As I compare the two careers, I told them an engineer has to know a lot but doesn’t necessarily work hard. Nurses have to know a lot and work hard every day. Engineers design safety, nurses administer safety. Engineers work on things. Nurses work on people. Every engineer comes in contact with a nurse someday but a nurse may never encounter an engineer.

They had some interesting observations and questions about the city of Chester. They all love Widener University and the campus environment. They know there’s another side of Chester but have no connection to it. I told them to not feel bad about that because Chester has done a horrible job making them feel welcome. There’s hardly any city I’ve ever lived or visited with a college or university that isn’t eager to serve those thousands of young people longing for something to do outside of class that’s local, fun, and safe. Many of these students have bookoo discretionary dollars to spend and are getting their first credit cards. Why Chester hasn’t developed, or even planned to develop their new downtown growth between Widener University and Crozer Hospital has been a ridiculous oversite for decades. Meds & Eds is the dream of thriving cities. We have it and don’t take advantage.

And, yes, they brought up parking meters. I haven’t heard anyone speak favorably toward the new parking meters in Chester besides city government, and these students were clearly not happy with the prospect of paying for parking. I could only share that the city is in dire financial straits and trying anything to bring in a buck.

My favorite moment was walking in the room and seeing a couple male nursing students. I told a guy I was going to meet with Widener nurses and he was jealous because I was going to spend time with college aged young ladies. I instantly said I expect there to be some guys there not knowing that would be the case. Nursing is fast becoming a profession men are drawn to. And getting back to the hard work nurses do, some of it is lifting very heavy objects known as people. To have a strong man on the floor when you need one could really come in handy.

Thanks Dr. Bonaduce for inviting me, and the pound cake was delicious. Thanks student nurses for being so fun and attentive. Let’s do it again!

Widener nurses