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Three Decades of Compassionate Care

Calvin Burke
 

Crisis nurse Calvin Burke is a problem solver—he stabilizes trauma patients and safely transports complex, critically ill children. He is part of a small, specialized team at Children’s National Hospital. He calls his colleagues, “jacks-of-all-trades who know a lot about the hospital. If we don’t know the answer, we know where to get it.”

Calvin’s career at our hospital spans thirty years. He says it has taught him a lot about exceptional care. In the emergency department, he watched a doctor stop what he was doing to bring parents together with their child who would soon pass away. “He made sure they could be together without interruptions in that moment,” Calvin says. “Over the years, I’ve watched how we provide care and compassion in so many ways.”

He never planned on a career in nursing. He got a job in our medical records department right after high school. “But when I was out and about,” he recalls, “I saw a vibrant atmosphere and a lot of cool things happening between nurses and kids.” He left for six months to train in the military, then returned to Children’s National as a unit clerk. He worked as a respiratory tech during nursing school.

As a nurse, Calvin’s first patient was a 5-year old with burns covering most of his body. He oversaw his care and visited his school to speak to his classmates and ease the transition. “I like to think I made a difference in his life,” says Calvin, who went on to work in our pediatric intensive care unit, emergency department and today on our crisis nurse team.

Many would consider his job very stressful, but Calvin doesn’t see it that way. “This kind of care is just what we do,” Calvin says. “I work hard, I do my best for the children here and I love it.”

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