After completing Washington College’s dual-degree nursing program at University of Maryland, Kaitlyn Doyle ’17 accepted a position at the hospital’s Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.
During the summer of her senior year in high school, as she considered how a small liberal arts college might prepare her for a nursing career, Katie Doyle toured University of Maryland’s Shock Trauma Center. There, at one of the nation’s top hospitals, administrators told her that some of their best nurses came from Washington College. That they were highly educated and well prepared to succeed in UM’s rigorous nursing program. And that there would be plenty of opportunities for professional growth and advancement if she followed the 3:2 path.
That was a pretty strong endorsement, she says, but “when I was recruited for the soccer team the same week that I visited Shock Trauma, I took that as a sign. That’s how I found Washington College, and how Washington College found me.”
After a visit to Chestertown, she fell in love with the campus, applied early decision, and jumped into the coursework that would lead to a bachelor of science degree in biology and a bachelor of science degree in nursing in just five years. She now works three days a week at Shock Trauma, caring for critically wounded patients.
“Being with people on the worst day of their life is something I can’t put into words just yet, but it’s gratifying to be the calming influence in a room full of chaos,” says Doyle. “I love the pace, and I really enjoy working with a great team, knowing that I have everything I need, every time, in any given situation.”
Doyle, whose family members are also in the medical field, realized that she was suited for trauma medicine even at a young age. When a couple of her high school friends ran headlong into a pier while riding jet skis, she was the first responder on the scene.
“I knew what to do. I felt calm and collected. One of them was flown to Shock Trauma, and luckily both of them were ok.
As a teaching hospital, University of Maryland offers plenty of opportunities for Doyle to pursue her interests in research and teaching. Last summer, she traveled to Zambia and Zimbabwe with a small team from UM’s School of Pharmacy. During that monthlong trip, while she and her pharmacy colleagues were investigating microbial resistance, she did a lot of chart combing and analysis of nursing processes in those countries that might lend insight into the development of superbugs. Ultimately, she says, she’d like to earn a doctoral degree in nursing and teach, with a focus on maternal and women’s health.