Ben Hellebusch's life has come full circle.
Ben was born as a quadruplet at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in 1999. While each baby was under 3 pounds and barely a foot long, Ben and his brothers quickly caught up in size. They played football and wrestled in middle and high school in their hometown of Washington, Missouri.
"We have always been close and had each other's backs," Ben says. "We had most of our classes together in school and they called us the Quads, Fab 4, or the ABCDs."
The Hellebusch family added two girls four years after the quadruplets' birth.
While the brothers are close, their career paths have taken them in different directions. Yet Ben and his two younger sisters have followed the same path—into nursing.
"My parents are thrilled and supportive that I'm going into nursing," Ben says. "I've always enjoyed helping people and I knew if I went to nursing school, I would have so many job options so I could find the perfect fit for me."
Ben chose to attend Goldfarb School of Nursing because a friend and cousins who had attended the school shared their positive experiences with him. He also was drawn to the two-year, straight-to-BSN program, which meant he could start his career sooner.
After Ben completed his prerequisites at East Central College through Missouri's A+ scholarship program, he began as an Upper Division student at Goldfarb in September 2021. He is on track to graduate in April 2023.
"I knew nursing school would be very challenging, but there are plenty of people at Goldfarb who are willing to help," Ben says. "They want you to succeed. It's doable if you work hard, stay focused, and prioritize your time. You can still have time to relax and have fun."
A Full-Circle Meeting
During his recent obstetrics (OB) clinical rotation at Barnes-Jewish Hospital—where he was born—Ben came face to face with his past.
While shadowing a nurse on the post-partum floor, Ben mentioned that he was a quadruplet. Curious, the veteran nurse asked what year Ben was born and his last name. Debbie Layton's ears perked up when it came up again later with other nurses around.
"When she heard my last name, it clicked with her that she had cared for my brothers and me when we were born. It's cool to come back to the place where I was born. Some other nurses who cared for us are still at Barnes-Jewish, too. What are the odds of meeting the person who delivered you?"
He says he is impressed that so many nurses have been at the hospital for such a long time. "They have to enjoy it if they're still there. It's like the saying 'If you love what you do, you don't work a day.'"
A Career With Peace of Mind
Ben admits he did not have much experience working with babies when he started his OB rotation. However, he embraced the opportunity and said he appreciates the instructors' support in clinical rotations.
"They have all been in our shoes and give us what we need to learn and get hands-on experience. I enjoyed my time on the post-partum floor. I saw new and different things. OB clinical is my favorite rotation so far, although I'm open to options. I like to experience things in person before I decide."
While just 14% of Goldfarb students are male, Ben says he has adapted well and fellow nursing students and nurses have been welcoming. "No one treats me any differently because I'm a guy. I'm looking forward to the different options of jobs to choose from. That gives me peace of mind and I can try different areas to find my niche."