A top priority for 26-year-old Philo Cesar is making a daily intention to have an open mind and stay in a state of growth. Philo, who will graduate in August 2022 from Chamberlain’s Miramar campus with her RN to BSN degree, says those qualities make an excellent nurse. Because no two days on the hospital floor are the same, resilience is paramount. “You don't know what will be presented to you each day, what that day is going to look like, or who's going to come in front of you. You have to be willing to say, ‘Okay, this is the situation, and how can we solve this situation?’”
That problem-solving prowess and fierce determination have served Philo well as she’s worked toward her degree during the COVID-19 epidemic. “[COVID-19] made me want to be a nurse even more because in a time that is so dark, we can be the light for people that are suffering, people that are dying. We have to be there to show compassion.”
That compassion, Philo believes, is the scaffolding of health equity. “Health equity is being fair to everyone, regardless of their status, and I always try to treat people the way that I want to be treated,” Philo says.
Born in Haiti, Philo says it's looked upon favorably in the Haitian community when someone decides to pursue a degree in a medical field. “Our parents push us toward that area. People look to you as a role model, as an example for those that might feel like they're not capable of becoming a nurse or are hesitant about the language barrier.”
An active volunteer in Miramar’s Haitian community, Philo encourages other Haitians to reach for their dreams. “I tell people to challenge themselves. Don't let the world's stigma, or what people may have said out of their own pain cause you to stay where you're at. Because if you have a dream, go for it.”
The journey to becoming a nurse is academically rigorous, and Philo believes that her unwavering commitment to compassionate patient care is what potential nurses should recognize in themselves. “I would say number one, check your heart. Why do you want to do go into nursing? Because what kept me in it for the long run was the reason why I got into nursing: to be light in someone’s darkness.”
“Nursing has to be something that you can see yourself doing every day that you wake up. For me, it brings me joy when I see someone smile, because I want to keep them smiling.”
A quote that resonates with Philo is one by Barack Obama, “We are the change that we seek.” “To me,” Philo says, “that means a solution can only come when you see the problem. If you can see the problem, that is the beginning of change.”
Always looking to be a positive change in the lives of her patients and co-workers, Philo sees problems not as obstacles but as possibilities for progress. One hurdle that Philo turned into progress was a particularly challenging class that made her question whether she was made for nursing. “I pushed myself hard, and I made it.” In fact, Philo was even invited to join Sigma Theta Tau, the international honor society for nursing.
An avid songwriter and committed optimist, Philo wrote: “Make the difference in your actions and in your words. A raindrop makes an ocean, and you are never too small to make the difference.”
A raindrop makes an ocean, and you are never too small to make the difference.
By Chamberlain University
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