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Nursing and Catholic Double Major Puts Teamwork at the Heart of His Practice  

Photo of Jordan MabalatanRecent Seton Hall alumnus Jordan Mabalatan '15, Catholic Studies and Nursing double major, started his nursing career well before he was set to graduate. He landed a competitive externship position at Somerset Medical Center, which not only gave him a paid position and hands-on, real-world experience, but also provided him with a guaranteed job offer upon graduation. He now works as an infection control nurse at the Hospital for Special Surgery and is a graduate student at Duke University.

Jordan recently reflected on his experiences at Seton Hall, during which his two majors joined forces to help him develop into a knowledgeable, capable nurse with each patient's humanity as his main focus. Here's what he had to say:

"The education I received as a Catholic Studies major has been integrated as a core aspect of my practice as a registered nurse. Seton Hall is Catholic at its core, and the goal of the University is to foster the growth of servant leaders. It is with this same mindset that I serve and care for my patients every day. I would not be where I am today if it were not for my mentors, peers, and colleagues at Seton Hall. As a student in the University Honors Program, I was able to explore my diverse interests, which ultimately led me to my family in the Department of Catholic Studies. Many of us in the Department were from a wide range of backgrounds and career paths, but the common factor between us all was our desire to explore Catholicism's rich Intellectual Tradition.

The interdisciplinary nature of my studies has been important in my transition from an undergraduate student to a practicing clinician. The world of healthcare is not meant to operate in silos. We work together in teams with people from different fields. We are meant to share our expertise and learn from others. The foundation I have developed from my time as a Catholic Studies major has allowed me to have a more holistic worldview — a practice which I have taken along with me in my career.

My current position is in the perioperative area, or the area surrounding surgery, at a startup facility in Manhattan as the infection preventionist. I work with my team to prevent the spread of infections, identify best practices, and verify compliance with regulatory agencies — all while seeing patients and ensuring their safety in the operating room. My role is multifaceted, comprised of business, legal, and nursing aspects. Just like my education in the Catholic Studies Department, my peers in healthcare have been from diverse backgrounds. This has become even more important as my career has further taken me out of silos from healthcare into tech.

As a former registered nurse in the cardiothoracic intensive care unit and operating room at Duke University Hospital in North Carolina, I was concurrently enrolled at the Graduate School with a focus in health informatics. Information and data science utilize powerful tools that help us to support decisions and enact change. In healthcare, we aim to make data usable and to benefit our patients. At the crossroads of healthcare and tech — two very analytical worlds — it is important to bear in mind the humanity behind the data we are using. They are not just heart rates, net profits, or lines of code — they are people. They are brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters.

I am currently doing research in New York City, with the aim to work with vendors and improve the technology behind the electronic health record to allow for more efficient workflows. Improving these systems would enable clinicians to perform at their fullest potential, while providing patients with the best care possible. My days are spent caring for patients during surgery, while my nights are spent extracting meaning out of data. Both fields are ever-changing, dynamic, and challenging. However, my interdisciplinary background has well-prepared me for a multifaceted career. It is my goal to complete my graduate education, pass on my knowledge to others, and inspire the next generation — just as those before me have inspired me."

Categories: Faith and Service , Health and Medicine

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  • Gloria Aroneo
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