I was a little apprehensive about this unit but I found it to be very beneficial during my two day experience. The nurse I shadowed was very friendly and had to deal with many patients. Her usual day consists of 4 to 5 people but she was dealing with 8. A few were cardiac patients but some were also there recovering from back surgeries, appendectomies and lung problems. On my first day I saw a doctor remove chest tubes from and elderly man who was recovering from open heart surgery. It gave me my first look at working with patients. This was an eye opening experience since it was my first week of rotations. I have more respect for nurses now since I’ve seen what they go through. Many of them have to deal with unfriendly patients and demanding doctors. One patient tried to hide his pills so he could sell them later and another patient had to be told he should start considering hospice. They have a lot of patience and really enjoy their job even when the day can be long and tough. Nursing would be a fun opportunity because they can move around more freely and also get to experience many situations. Overall I would say the unit was very interesting and informative.
This week I was in the Pediatric Intensive Care unit. This was on I was very excited for because I love working with kids. My first day was pretty exciting and I learned a lot. We gave an 11month old shots before he was able to go home. He was there for open heart surgery. Observing in the room gave me my first out look on kids in traumatic situations. I realized how strong these nurses needed to be. The next room was much worse. It was a 5 month old baby that was there for child abuse. This was very hard to see. There was no visible evidence. The damage was all internal. Originally the mother took the baby to the hospital saying the infant aspirated while she was feeding.. Through an MRI, the doctors were able to see significant brain damage and realized what was going on. A nurse commented saying that she has seen brain injuries from car accidents that weren’t so bad. This mad me somewhat sick and mad at this mother. When I got to go in and see the baby, its head was abnormally larger then its body. It could not move on its own or open its eyes and was hooked to a breathing machine. I got to witness nurses taking car of it all day.
The second day was very similar. I got to shadow a nurse who was taking care of the same baby. We also got some new admits that were our age. It was a little weird seeing what they were going through when they are the same age as I was. One thing I really learned was how much you can have an affect on your patient. Amanda, the nurse I had, explained that she really liked the PICU because you could have an impact on your patient. Even though the little baby was not looking positive she likes that she can help can be the person to help it get better. A baby can sense love through touch and she felt it was her duty to be there for the kid since it doesn’t have proper care. I loved seeing that in her. Even though this was somewhat tragic I learned quite a bit and have great appreciation for the nurses.
I would have to say that this has been the best rotation so far. I was very excited to go to the operating rooms and see surgeries on different things. When I first got there I felt a little nervous because I was afraid I couldn’t find where to change or forget something I was supposed to wear. It was quite easy though and by the next day I was definitely more calm and collected. The first day I got to watch 3hours of a 5 hour surgery. They were removing a tumor from the brain. This procedure is very unique and was the most exciting of the week. First they had to shave the patients head and then make their incision. Then they cauterized all tissue and fat until they reached the bone. They took certain tools and got the bone out. Once they did this you could immediately see the brain. That was so amazing to see. I was surprised by how much I could handle watching. The next day I got to see two cases. The first one was an appendectomy and removal of the gallbladder. It was very interesting to see and I learned a lot. The second case was seeing a leg amputated. That was the coolest thing I have seen in my life. The patient had diabetes and had to have her foot cut all the way up to her knee. When we first went, the patient’s foot was black and withered away. It was moldy and decayed.
Once into the OR the patient was put asleep and the surgeon marked where to cut. This was very sad given the patient would never walk normally again. The surgeon cut all the way to the bone and removed all skin and muscle where soon the only thing that was keeping it intact was the bone. To see to big body parts only held together by a skinny bone with nothing around it was very surreal. Then they took a surgical saw that looked like a power tool and sawed the bone in half. They picked up the foot with the bone sticking out of it and placed it in the bag to go to the lab. It was all very cool. Being in the OR made me realize what I wanted to do. It’s very interesting and you get very different cases. I hope do be back again.
This week was probably one of my favorites up to this point. I was in the Emergency Room at St. Joe. The first day I was put with a man named Matt who was also a paramedic. He was very informative. That day we saw an elderly patient come in on a code red. She wasn't responsive. By the time they got the patient to the hospital however, she was regaining it. We also had an abuse case. The patient needed her thumb fixed because she was attacked by another girl. I believe it was attempted sexual abuse. The patient was nothing like I imagined. When I first got in there she had blood shot eyes and was VERY shaky. She was very apprehensive about Matt fixing her hand. He had to be very gentle and talk to her about what he was doing. When he left to get some more tape she told me not to let Matt hurt her. I was astonished by that. I felt very bad and reassured her he wouldn't. I really didn't know what to say. While Matt was fixing her up a police officer came in to ask her questions, when he knocked on the door she jumped. She has obviously been sexually/physically abused multiple times. I couldn't believe it.
My second day I was with a girl and we saw three schizophrenia patients. I was so surprised to see three. Two were on medication so I didn't see anything unusual. The other one was hallucinating and shaking constantly. When we go in to ask them questions lots of them lied and said they weren't schizophrenics. They also denied certain questions about abusing prescription drugs. One of the schizophrenic patients has an abscess in her vaginal area. That is the worst place to have one. She also showed us scars from where her older ones had been. Abscess are not uncommon, however reoccurrence of them is due to a lack of personal hygiene. This patient had awful body odor, and never bathed. This was a very interesting day and it made me realize how sheltered we really are as Catholic school kids. Health Academy has definitely been a good way to see what really goes on in the world. The majority of patients I've seen suffer from poverty or disease. The three patients I saw on Friday were all schizophrenia patients. The ER seriously gives you a better perspective and makes you feel very blessed.
For week eight I was in the MICU/CCU unit. This was probably one of my better rotations. We did a lot of moving people around while I was there. Lots of people were coming in and out. We had a few interesting patients. I spent the day with an elderly patient that was getting ready to go to one of the floors. She was most likely going to be put in hospice. She was the nicest person to meet and it reminded me that even though some patients are quite a hassle, there are still many that make the job feel worth while. She really liked to talk about her grandchildren and she even tried to set me up with her grandson who was visiting her. That was a little awkward. We also had a patient who was in for alcohol poisoning. He was seriously out of it. He kept calling for us to come in and help him, but once we got in there he yelled at us to go away. The drugs and alcohol were clearly still in his system. He was quite annoying actually because he was disturbing a lot of patients around him.
Through all this I also learned how to deal with the patients relatives. One patient was moved to the floor and was taken off her heart monitor. For some reason the daughter was really freaked out about having her mom off a heart monitor and so she threw a big fit. I understand how all those things can be scary for a loved one but I think she took it a little over board. She was pretty mad. One thing I also did was actually assist in help moving the patients. I am not sure if I should have done that now that I think about it but it was still pretty cool. You get a better feeling from shadowing when you seem helpful and not a nuisance. I didn’t do anything major, the people that were able to walk I assisted them with walking and the people that had to be in wheel chairs I got to push them around and talk to them. It was pretty nice to interact with people. Overall I think this week was extremely beneficial and learned a ton
Career Discovery Project (Entry Level Careers)
Entry Level Positions:
Associate Degree in Nursing:
ADN programs are usually offered by community or junior colleges and they usually take 2 to 3 years to complete. Although it may be quicker, ADN’s may have trouble with advanced opportunities. However, many ADN’s will take advantage of tuition reimbursement benefits and work towards a Bachelors Degree in Nursing. A registered nurse makes around a 50,000 salary, so ADN’s would somewhat less. They would make around $20,000 to $30,000. Lots of times it helps to have some sort of experience such as volunteering at a hospital or being a nurse’s assistant. An ADN works with the nurse and helps with taking blood pressure, changing beds, feeding, bathing and clothing. This interests me because I like to help people and it could be an easy fast track to getting a job before I went back to finish my BSN.
Pharmacists dispense prescription drugs to patients. They watch the health and success of a patient to make sure things are working effectively and safely. In 2006, the amount of pharmacists was around 243,000. Most are salaried employees but some work independently. About one fourth of them work in hospitals while the rest work at pharmacies and physician offices. In order to become a pharmacist you will need four years of schooling and Doctor of Pharmacy Degree. To be admitted one must have at least two years of college study with courses including math, chemistry , biology , physics , humanities and social sciences. They must also take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test. Employment of a pharmacist is projected to be a much faster growth around 2016. If wanting to be in doctor of pharmacy programs you must complete coursework in pharmaceutics and pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmacology and pharmacy admissions. Also, in the United States it is required that pharmacists must pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam. A pharmacist’s paycheck varies from around $93,640 if working in general hospitals, to $99,050 in department stores. This would be a good spot for me because it would be fun to work with patients and give them the right medication they need to in order to live better. With anything in the health field, it’s a wonderful experience helping people.
Career Discovery Projects (Advanced Careers Cont’d)
The nurse anesthesia classroom curriculum emphasizes anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, biochemistry, chemistry, physics and pharmacology. The clinical component provides experience with a variety of anesthesia techniques and procedures for all types of surgery and obstetrics. A CRNA is a helpful hand to an anesthesiologist. They do the same activities and experience similar stuff with less years of schooling. CRNA’s are some of the best paid nursing specialists. Their average pay in 2008 was approximately $168,500. With a great pay the job seems ideal, however, one must take years of schooling into perspective. First you must earn a Bachelors of Science in nursing degree (BSN). Then once you get registered as an RN, you must have a minimum of one to three years of experience working before applying to the anesthetist program. One year must be in an intensive care unit. Once you have done that the process of applying for the nurse anesthetist program is vigorous and stiff. It is very hard because there is much competition because of its high salary. Once you’re in you must pass the national certification test. From there you can become a CRNA. My father is an anesthesiologist and I am interested in becoming a CRNA. It is a difficult task ahead of me but I believe it is something I will enjoy. I have been to surgery with my father and it is a stressful job and is key to every person. Helping ones breathing and pain is a very wonderful experience because you can see first hand how you have impacted and helped a person’s life.
“ The best way to find yourself is to give yourself to others.” This was stated by a wise man on the first day of class in Career Voyages. I was not quite sure what to expect on the first day of class, but many apprehensions were soon lost as I listened to Dr. Singh speak. I soon realized that this class was not only helpful in discerning my decision in the medical field, but also discerning what I want in life. The information over speakers and job opportunities made me very excited for the semester ahead. I liked how we talked about pre requisites to the health profession and what is needed to get there. The field is very selective so it is important to get high grades for acceptance into a certain program. I also learned the four ways to get into medical school. Some good advice given was to spend a whole day shadowing the certain career you want and also look into the job’s professional growth. Dr. Singh was very informative and inspired me to make the best out of what ever it is I do. Another inspiring man would be Dr. John Leyba. Dr. Leyba was our guest speaker. He has a degree in Nuclear Chemistry and Radio Chemistry. He studied at Truman State University and achieved a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry. After, he got his PhD in Nuclear Chemistry which took another 4 years. He started out the discussion with work ethic, explaining that many years of schooling is worth it if you are enjoying what you do. He used a personal example of working in the laboratory. He explained that the lab made him realize what he wanted to do because you have to be content with doing the same thing over and over again. Another example used was being involved in management. He calls this the “dark side.” Management can be appealing to people because of authority and money but one must also realize the negative aspects such as laying people off and headaches over money issues.
He also gave us a lecture of the affect of money when dealing with a certain degree. We learned that your starting salary goes up with the better degree you have. Also in the discussion, he talked about 3 possible ways to get a degree in science. The first would be through Academia. This is a good fit for people with patience and leadership. Second, would be Industry. This deals with companies in science. The pay is better in Industry but you work 12 months with only 2 weeks vacation time starting out. Some interesting information I learned is that you could possibly double your pay within ten years. The third way is Government. Examples would be NIST (National Institute of Science Technology) and the Department of Energy. All three are very beneficial. Dr. Leyba continued his words of advice saying that your job is what you are going to do for the rest of your life. You must never pick your job because of money. He stated, “Don’t let your career define you, you define your career.” Overall I believe my first day was very informative. I have realized that health professions are professions of service/serving people. Both Dr. Singh and Dr. Leyba taught me many lessons and informed me of many tasks ahead. I am excited to see the potential I have through the spring semester.
Our second guest speaker was Dr. Bernadette Fetterolf. She is the Director of the School of Nursing at Newman University. She showed us a video on nursing and referred to the profession as the “gold card.” She explained that everyday you learn something new and there is never a dull moment. The Nursing Program at Newman has twice a year admissions. Both fall and spring take up to 32 people to be in their nursing program. The first semester into the program the students get broken up in half so the class size is smaller and then from there it is broken in half again so that it consists of about 8 people working with a professor. The good thing about it being small is that you have a good connection with who you are with. The outcomes at Newman are extremely high. The acceptance rate last year was 100 percent. For such a high academic profile there good be some set backs. The amount of people that apply for the program is twice as much as they actually take. That is why Dr. Fetterolf explains that “you have to set yourself up to succeed early.” 45 percent of getting into the program is based on your GPA so it is important to do well. Fetterolf also went into the average income of a nurse. The average nurse here in Wichita can make around $40,000 to $50,000 starting out. One thing to also consider though is looking at the benefits, not the pay.
Along with being a nurse is the opportunity to expand on to something higher. Newman has a Nurse Anesthesia program. It is highly selective and takes about 18 people out of the 75-100 that apply. Before applying for the anesthesia program they require you to take a few years working in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the hospital. They also encourage you to take leadership roles in the unit. The average nurse anesthetist makes anywhere from $75,000 to $200,000. Dr. Fetterolf really helped me with information when it came to deciding what I wanted to do. She says that you only go through college once so you need to enjoy yourself and take your time. Newman nursing sounded excellent and seems like the perfect fit for me. Both Dr. Reichenberger and Dr. Fetterolf had wonderful advice and have made me think deeply about the profession I want to pursue.
Family Practice Medicine Dr. Diana Crook’s lecture over her family practice was a very inspirational and beneficial and made me think a lot about the work I have ahead of me. Dr. Crook is a doctor who has her own family practice at Lake Point Family Physicians. Her kids go to Kapaun Mt. Carmel with us. The best thing she taught me that day was you have to learn to be self motivated and focused. Dr. Crook attended Newman University and played volleyball all four years while trying to get into medical school. I am attended Newman and am playing volleyball as well so I found her speech to be very personal. She gave great advice saying how she had to study on the road and put in extra time. She had straight A’s all through school even with a time consuming sport. She got accepted into Medical school at Kansas University. She said that at KU she felt like a minority and thought she be the dumbest in the class but she ended up getting straight A’s again and graduated in the top 10 percent of her class. She also was married and had kids through med school too. This completely surprised me. I am constantly stressed about whether or not I can handle college while dealing with volleyball. She is a woman that can do it all.
Once she was a doctor she went into family practice and she said it was the best thing she could’ve done. She has 6 children and still feels she has a relaxing lifestyle. In family practice you get to know and see everything. You get families with all ages so you have to know your stuff. Dr. Crook proceeded to explain some of the things she did not enjoy about her lifestyle. While she was in family practice, birth control was on the rise for patients. Not being educated about it in school, Dr. Crook didn’t know everything about it. She never realized it was against her religion to prescribe it to people. Lots of times she would give it to her female patients who needed it. As the education of birth control increased, she realized exactly what is was and found that the Catholic Church was against it. She talked to a few priests about it and decided to stop prescribing birth control. She soon became a professional in Natural Family Planning. She realized what her role was in this world, helping people. She loves her job and every aspect of her life and she told us to owe it God and give it up to him because he made all things possible for her. She couldn’t have gotten through all of this without him. Overall, I loved Dr. Crook’s speech. It inspired me to continue doing what I enjoy and to never give up simply because it gets tough at some points. I will remember this speech for a long time.
Long waits in the lobby, cramps from opening wide, and fear of possible cavities has never been my idea of a fun time outside of school. Becoming a dentist was never something I thought about considering for a profession. The thought of cleaning someone’s teeth was never something appealing to me. After the lecture however, I began to reconsider my point of view. A man named Dr. Mark Troilo came to talk to us about Dentistry and he gave me a lot to think about. Dr. Troilo graduated from Newman in 1974. He attended Creighton University Dental School. He was in class basically from 8am to 5pm with an hour break possibly. As his clinical work increased the class size decreased. He explained that the bond with people in your major is very strong. He started off by explaining how lucky he was to have Dr. Singh as a teacher and how it impacted him in his future course. Dr. Troilo said that many people go into dentistry and medicine for the wrong reasons. It is a great career because dentistry has less people coming in then going out; this means chances of getting in to the program may be greater. Dr. Troilo says dentistry education is at an all time high because tooth decay is on the rise. In recent years the number of female graduates would maybe be 6 out of 70. Now, over half are females. Dr. Troilo continues to explain more reasons why one should consider dentistry rather then medical school. He says there aren’t as many emergencies and flexibility is better. In most cases a dental hygienist makes more than a nurse.
Dr. Troilo then proceeded to give advice about certain dental schools. He said Creighton is more beneficial than UMKC (University of Missouri Kansas City) because at UMKC you have to fight for every surgery you can get. It is very political and they dumb down students to get ahead for themselves. At Creighton there is many more opportunities to succeed. However if you are interested in being an Orthodontist you should attend UMKC. One thing I like about Dr. Troilo was that he gave both points of view. He believed that you should know what you’re getting in to before hand that way you don’t make a mistake and realize you don’t want to do it. He proceeded to tell us some upsetting information about dentistry. First off, you are a certified a doctor but don’t always get treated that way. Many people over look the fact that dentists are still doctors. Many don’t get the respect they deserve. The profession also is number one for suicide rate and divorce rate. The amount of debt one has coming out of dentist school is significantly higher. Life as a dentist may be rough but also has a good aspect to it. Some encouragement entered my mind when he began telling me how much he loved his job. Just like every other speaker that has talked to us he said it doesn’t matter the pay but if you love what you do. Power isn’t happiness. He loves working hard and helping his patients. It is what he is born to do. I really enjoyed Dr. Troilo speak and I’m glad to know so much about the profession. It is definitely something I will consider to pursue.
Our second lecture of the day was from a lady named Meg Trumpp. She is the director of the Respiratory Care Program an Newman University. Mrs. Trumpp explained that respiratory therapist is in charge of the patients breathing. Respiratory therapists are at the heart of the field because of their tasks. When you are a respiratory therapist you get to see all kinds of patients and are never limited. You get to go to all the units of the hospital so there is never a dull moment. You always get to see and learn something new. Going into this profession would be a cool experience because you get to use all of the newest technologies and work hand on with the patients. You must be able to communicate well to ease the patients stay at the hospital as well as to communicate with the doctor. They work very close with the doctors and physicians The job of a respiratory therapist usually entails a twelve hour work day. You can work in many places besides the hospital. Some include: schools, homes, nursing homes, private places, and even traveling therapists. They need for respiratory therapists are very high in demand right now. The employment rate should reach twenty-three percent by 2016. RT’s will always be needed when it comes to patient care. At Newman University, the program takes up to 20 people each semester. The average income of a respiratory therapist is $50,100. I really enjoyed the speaker and thought she did a good job describing the profession. I got to shadow a respiratory therapist at SFC and he wasn’t very fun so I am glad that Mrs. Trrumpp came to talk because it gave me a better outlook on it.
For my career paper, I wrote about anesthesiology. An anesthesiologist administers pain meds, helps with the patients breathing, and is present during surgery. I interviewed my father, Dr. Wesley Helena about the relationship his job has to his life. I learned many things interviewing him. An anesthesiologist must have extreme vigilance and patience. You also must work well with you hands. It takes many years of schooling but is all worth it in the end if you enjoy what you are doing. I one day hope to become successful like my father and make my mark in the medical industry.
Becoming a certified Nurse Anesthetist is my biggest goal. Through Health Academy, I have learned about all types of jobs in the medical field but this one interested me the most. I would like to be the one helping the patient deal with their pain and administer anesthetics. I had the privilege of shadowing one around and it seemed to be the perfect fit for me. It takes 4 years of nursing school, one to two years of work experience, and then two years for the nurse anesthesia program. I hope this will be the place I end up because I feel like my talents will be performed best in this subject.
Through this program I have learned many things. Health Academy has taught me responsibility, work ethic, and has shown me first hand what it is like to make a difference in the world. Through a medical profession, you are helping lives everyday and that is something not every job can do. I have learned bedside manner, patience, understanding, and the ability to cope with others. These professions take many years of schooling and should not be taken lightly. I plan to attend Newman University in the fall and continue to nursing school. One day I hope to become a contributing member of society through the medical field and share my talents to everyone in a beneficial and remarkable way.