Danielle Mucker may be a nurse in CHOC Children’s oncology/hematology unit, but with an ability to transform medical care into something fun for patients, she’s also a bit of a magician.
“Hands down, the single most meaningful part of my work is to be able to disguise my medical care while making children smile, laugh and play as though they weren’t in the hospital,” Danielle says.
Danielle’s goal to ensure her patients still have fun even while hospitalized echoes CHOC’s overall attitude that illness should not impede childhood.
“At CHOC, allowing children to be children helps to foster growth towards milestones despite obstacles, like cancer, that can often slow or halt development towards milestones,” she says. “This is a key component for each and every child’s future.”
Long before joining CHOC almost five years ago, Danielle developed an interest in nursing as a child, when her mother was enrolled in nursing school. Later, that interest solidified when college student Danielle helped care for her mother at home following extensive back surgery.
And today, when she tells people about her work, Danielle sometimes hears sympathetic musings about how sad her work must be. These concerned people need not worry, Danielle says.
“My response is always the same,” she says. “If I could do a ride-along for the day, I would bring you with me so you could see how amazing my job is. I get to work each day with the strongest patients and families in the world. There is no child stronger than a child with cancer.”