We caught up with rape crisis advocate Heather Hallmark to ask her how she balances her rape crisis work with her interest in a nursing career:
Q. Hi, Heather! Why do you do crisis work for RCS?
A. Hi, there! I know that I want to work in an emergency room, and I can’t imagine not wanting to also do crisis work [for a PC 13837 sexual assault program].
Q. What do you mean?
A. I like crisis work. It’s never the same situation twice. I’m never bored. Through RCS, I’ve met hospital staff in the emergency room and realized that I like them and want to work there. When I answer a hospital call for an RCS client, I always talk to the nurses. I show them respect. The nurses there know me.
Q. Does rape crisis work distract you from nursing?
A. Crisis work is not for everyone. You really need to be able to go home and leave your work at home. You need to leave the stress at work. It’s the same with nursing. I work on a student nursing rotation at the hospital. Nursing is hard, but I enjoy it. I get excited to help people — to give an injection by myself. It’s not easy, but it gets easier with time.
Q. What do you like to do when you’re not working or studying?
Q. Do you have any advice for new students?
A. Enjoy the moment — it passes too quickly. Don’t worry about the one failure or setback. Learn from it. Grow from it, but move on.
Heather Hallmark has interned as a PC 13837 rape crisis advocate for RCS for more than two years. Heather graduated from Fresno State with a degree in criminology and a victimology option. She lives with her family in Fresno, and she has five dogs and one cat (who acts like a dog).