Hannah Streitmatter: Oncologist in training


Sierra Gomperts

Hannah Streitmatter is a senior at CHS with an inspirational internship. Hannah interns at an oncologists office because she wants to be a pediatric oncologist as an adult. Hannah says she has “always wanted to work with kids” and she wants to raise awarness to pediatric cancer throughout her career.

Most people have no tolerance for shots, blood draws, bone marrow biopsies or any  procedure for that matter. However senior Hannah Streitmatter’s passion to help others overrides such fears and has influenced her to choose oncology as her current occupation choice.

“It started out when I went to Rady’s in San Diego to have an echo cardiogram for my heart,” Streitmatter said. “After my appointment, I went to the front desk and asked if there was any sort of volunteer program or way to hang out with the kids. They told me to go to their website to fill out an application, which I had to write an essay for. I sent it in and waited all summer until I heard from them.”

By the end of summer, Rady Children’s Hospital informed Streitmatter that she made it into the program. She was then invited to their office for a formal interview and had to prepare for her volunteer work.

“I had to get several shots since I was going to be working with sick patients,” Streitmatter said. “I was given two TB tests and a flu shot. To volunteer there, I was going to have to get these annually.”

In order to prove that she was responsible and diligent, Streitmatter started out by doing customer service in the hospital’s gift shop for six months.

“Then I got promoted to Patient Care Companion which is directly working on the floor with the oncology hematology patients (cancer and blood disorders),” Streitmatter said. “I would work there for three or more hours on Sundays and help the nurses by running errands for them. I also played with the patients and talked with them to keep them company when they were having a rough day.”

Streitmatter always loved kids and found a new interest in pediatric oncology, and thus, she ended up volunteering at Rady’s. She does not currently volunteer there because she is focusing on her new internship associated with Tri-City and Scripps.

“For the Internship Academy at school, I am doing an internship at North County Oncology with my stepdad who is an oncologist for adults,” Streitmatter said. “I previously was employed there and turned my job into an internship so I could do more. I intern in the office with the medical assistants. I get to enter labs and help room patients as well as take their vital signs.”

Streitmatter became experienced in her internship and was able to assist and observe in a chemotherapy treatment. Since some patients get fearful, Streitmatter helps calm them down and lets them know they are in good hands.

“I am able to watch blood draws and bone marrow biopsies,” Streitmatter said. “For these, they go to the patient’s back and insert a needle. The first time I watched one I was told to sit down, so I wouldn’t get sick. I was proud of myself because I didn’t pass out.”

As of right now, Streitmatter has a distinctive plan to attend college to become a pediatric oncologist– her adoration for kids and oncology come together in this career.

“If I can’t be a doctor, I’d like to be a physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner,” Streitmatter said. “These involve a shorter amount of time in college and are similar jobs that answer directly to the doctor. ”