For Jason Applegate ’15, Caring for Others is All in the Family
Jason Applegate ’15 has seen firsthand the impact a nurse’s care has on sick patients. “I grew up visiting my mom (Diane Applegate, now The Hun School’s Director of Health Services) in the hospital,” explains Mr. Applegate. Watching her in action inspired him to follow in her clog-supported footsteps, first to Villanova University and then into nursing. “I always knew I wanted to help people,” he says.
Mr. Applegate, a newly minted nursing graduate, joined the critical care unit at Jefferson Hospital in Stratford, New Jersey six months ago. “You read about this in books, but you never expect to be thrown into a pandemic your first year out of school,” he explains. He jokes that his trademark inability to sit still (a quality his mother attests to) has served him well during COVID-19, but he also credits something else—The Hun School. “The School always says that they prepare students for a world of constant change. Coronavirus is changing every single day and I have to be prepared each time I come to work with a different mindset, adapt to new treatments, etc.”
Meanwhile, as Mr. Applegate cares for COVID-19 patients ranging from the elderly to a six-year-old child, Diane Applegate and her staff at The Hun School have taken steps to ensure that those on the front lines at Jefferson Hospital are taking care of themselves, too. “My mom and her staff surprised us and sent over two boxes of treats and care packages. They were packed with cookies and Kind bars but also items everyone can use now like gum (since we’re wearing masks all day) and hand lotion because our hands get so dry. Everyone loved it.”
For the Applegates, a legacy of caring for others is just beginning. “People get so caught up in themselves. Help the person next to you. That’s what this is all about,” says Mr. Applegate.