ST. GIANNA CATHOLIC HEALTH ACADEMYBy: Felicia Sullivan
WHAT TO EXPECTI had no idea what to expect from Health Academy. I knew that therewas classroom work and rotations but not much else. So the first day I got lost trying to even find the classroom but once I did I was greeted very warmly by Mrs. Hang. She went through all the detailsof what we’d be doing the next few months and tried to answer all ofour questions. The thing I was most excited for was the rotations but we didn’t even get to do those for at least the first two weeks. So inthe meantime we had speakers come in and talk to us about what to expect, went on tours of both hospitals, and had small careerassignments to prepare us for what career we might be interested in. That first week told me that I had a great opportunity in front of me.
CAREER CHOICES Registered nurses (long term) have the largest health occupation. This is one reason why I am interested in this job. Wherever I go I could help people and I would love to work with people in my job. To become a registered nurse, you must getyour bachelor’s degree, associate’s degree, and a diploma from an approved nursing program. To get these degrees, schools require the classes ofanatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, psycholo gy and other behavioral sciences, and nursing. Some things Icould do to get myself into these programs and obtain a position in nursing would be to volunteer at a hospital, start in a small career like working at the front desk at a medical center, ortaking extra classes or going to lectures over the subjects you’re interested in.
CAREER CHOICESEndocrinologists (long term) are specially trained doctors that take care ofconditions including: diabetes, thyroid diseases, metabolic disorders, overand under production hormones, menopause, osteoporosis, hypertension, cholesterol (lipid) disorders, infertility, lack of growth (short stature), andcancers of the endocrine glands. This career choice interests me because I have a younger brother with diabetes and I have learned a lot more about the subject. Because of this I am now interested in this field ofmedicine. Endocrinologists have to take more then 10 years over all. Theystart with 4 years of medical school, then 3 or 4 years in an internship andresidency program, then 2 or 3 more years learning how to diagnose andtreat hormone conditions. Some things that might help me get involved in a program for this type of occupation would be to research it, go to lectures over it, or even interview an endocrinologist to show that I am truly interested in the field.
CAREER CHOICESOptometrists (long term) do anything dealing with the eye. They help with vision problem and eye disease. I am interested in this field ofmedicine because I have an uncle that is an eye doctor and he really enjoys it. This field has a large amount of available positions. To be an optometrist, you must complete an accredited Optometry school and a license in the state of the practice. To receive a degree, 3 years at college before being accepted into a 4 year Optometryschool are required. I would also have to take Optometry Admissions Test (OAT). I think that volunteering or working at my uncle’s officewould help my chances at getting into a program relating to this field.
CAREER CHOICES Home Health Aides (entry level) works closely with nurses. They keep records of patient’s progress,giving medicine, changing dressing, checking patient’s vitals, and helping with walking aides. Home health aides must take a certificate program which takes about 1 or1 and a half semesters at a college. To become certified you must learn medical terminology, life support systems, and math to learn medication amounts. I am interested in this field as a start because it would let me get my feet in the door to becoming a nurse. I would also get to experience andlearn how to work with people directly before having to do more difficult tasks later on. I think that if you volunteer and get into any programs that would showthat you work well with others then it will increase your chances of getting into the certificate program.
CAREER CHOICES Physical Therapist Assistants (entry level) help to relieve pain, restore physical function, and prevent further disability. I am interested in this position because I would love to help people in their road to recovery. It’s amazing how someone can comeback from something so lifechanging and push themselves so hard. It would be a very rewarding job. I would have to take 2 full-time years at college to prepare myself forthe national licensing exam. Classes I could take would be anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, massage, orth opedics, pain control, pediatrics, neurology, and geriatrics. Some things that would increase mychances of getting into a program like this would be to volunteer, research what it’s all about, and seem very interested in the subject.
NURSINGI was excited to listen to Teresa Vetter talk about nursing because this is the career I wouldlike to go into. She went over many different things but the main things that a person needsto be a nurse is being able to process things, make a plan, and putting that plan into action. After all that you should be able to ask yourself: Did I make a difference? To be in nursing you should like sciences, people, lifelong learning, thinking on your feet, and working with people as a team. Once you’ve acknowledged that you do like all these things, there are many places you could work! Nurses work in hospitals, research, schools, clinics, public health, offices, traveling, military, education, home health, and many other places. The typical starting pay for a nurse is $19/hour-$30/hour. But the need for nurses is growing because the US Department of Labor says they predict a shortage of 500,000 -1,000,000 nurses in the next 20 years because there are many older people from the baby boomer generation that will be retiring. When going into school for nursing you must look at the curriculum, size of theprogram, NCLEX pass rates, mission/philosophy, faculty, and much more to make sure that your experience in nursing is the best as it can be. While looking at the different programs consider if you want an associate degree or a BSN. There is a movement for most nurses to become BSN but it is not required. There are many positives with getting your BSN verses just an associate degree. There is more job flexibility, it prepares you for graduate programs, and in some cases the pay is different.
RESPIRATORY THERAPIST Breathing is something that comes so natural that people don’t even think about doing it. Well that’s all that a respiratory therapist thinks about. The job of a respiratory therapist is to help you breathe easy. Margaret Trumpp spoke to us all about respiratory therapy: the history about it, what the therapists do, and some facts about the therapy itself. Respiratory therapy is only a 65 year old profession. It started with informal classes and evolved from there. The therapist works with premature babies to the elderly. The therapy involves a lot of equipment; all high-tech and high-touch. It works with the heart, lungs, and kidneys, everything that involves breathing. The two types of therapists are RRT (registered respiratory therapist) and CRT(certified respiratory therapist). They both work under the direction of the physician, as shesaid: “the ears and eyes of the physician.” The job is fast paced, always changing, salaries are rising, and you’re always learning new things. Normally jobs begin in the hospital then can expand to doctor’s offices, nursing homes, children’s hospitals, medical equipment companies, and so many more places. After you graduate, you have to take the exam to become a RT within 6 monthsafter graduation. It’s $70 per year for license renewal in the state of Kansas. You must alsohave 12 hours of continuing education. The average income is $52,200 per year and there is an estimated 21% increase in this job through the year 2018. This profession is prettynew but it is growing rapidly. I did take in interest in what Margaret talked about and I think I will consider becoming an RT.
PHYSICIANHow much will my morals and values play into my job? Dr. Diana Crook now lets her faith influence her practice of being a Natural Family Planning doctor. She took the risk of losing patients and being judged by others but it was worth it. She ended up losing only a few patients but gained many more in return. She started her career path when she was young. Her mother was a nurseand that’s what she wanted to go into. Her mother told her that she would be a much better doctor because she likes to give orders instead of get them. So that was the beginning of her career path. She started by going to college and getting her degree then took a year offand then went to med school. She had kids and takes time off to spend time with her family. She has now been in a private practice for twenty years. Sometime in her practice she started to struggle with her Catholic identity. This is what led her to become an NFP doctor. She went to a class to learn more about NFP and when she came back she stopped prescribing birth control. A question came to mind: Why isn’t NFP taught in medical school? She said that it isn’t because NFP is a political matter. This isabsurd! Why is the government not providing doctors with good information for youngwomen to be healthy? Dr. Crook believes and has proof that birth control messes withhormones. I am glad that Dr. Crook stood up for what she believes in, it takes a lot of courage and there should be more doctors like her.
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY Occupational Therapy would be my second choice in a career because I love working withpeople with disabilities. Clint Stucky went into more detail and explained that OTs work with people with physical (spinal cord injury, stroke, or head injury), psychiatric (mental illness),and developmental (Down syndrome, ADHD, autism) disabilities. The main goal of an OT is to help people become more independent. OTs work in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and homes. Their areas of concernare self-care, work, and play. Some examples he gave were: working on hand-writing with a child, working with a man in the hospital after a bad accident, recreation for people with physical disabilities, or showing people how to use “adaptive equipment” (this equipment helps fills the gap that medicine could not fix). What is the difference between occupational, physical, and speech therapy? Well they divide the body into three sections. Anything at the Adam’s apple and up is the job of the speech therapist (talking, chewing, and swallowing). Anything at the naval and down isthe job of the physical therapist (walking). Anything between naval and the Adam’s apple is the job of the occupational therapist (anything that is done with the arms ). I could become an OT or just an OT assistant. There are some slight differences other than the amount of education I’m receiving. An OT assistant is responsible forassisting with evaluation, updating goals and plans, may write discharge notes if the OT co -signs, and performs most OT treatments on most patients. The OT is responsible for patientevaluation, the initial treatment goals and plan, discharge summary, and can perform all OT treatment on all patients.
FORENSIC BIOLOGIST & DNA ANALYST When I think of health care, I think of working with people and their medical needs. Then I learned that you don’t have to even work directly with people but you can still help their medical issues. Now Ilearned another part of health care is after they’ve passed away. Well I got to hear Shelly Steadman talk to us about her career as a forensic biologist and DNA analyst. She has been this career for fourteen years and she loves it! A forensic laboratory is spilt up into many different things. I could work in toxicology and lookfor any drugs in the body and what type they are. I could work in drug id and look for use of illegal drugs. There is also trace evidence which investigates fires and how they might have been started. Firearms/tool marks tests all the guns that might have been used at a crime scene. There is DNA on anything that comes off of a person, so with advances in technology many criminals are being caught. There is a process that occurs with every crime but if there is DNA it isalways tested so it can be used in court. This DNA is collected by medical investigators who are working 24/7. They are the eyes and ears of the cornier. Shelly Steadman said she had six months of training after school before she was allowed to work her first case. She has had many cases. Some examples she gave were: a headless woman, coach with sex charges, finding DNA from a bloody rug, a homicide of a Goddard school teacher, rapist, a woman beat to death with a baseball bat and then left in a trunk, and her most famous was the BTK case. She is able to deal with the fact that she is working with horrible events by keeping interested in her work, knowing that she can’t fix what has happened but can help, and she just doesn’t get involved with the victims.
FINAL REFLECTION Overall I really enjoyed the Health Academy program! I am privileged to be able to have this experience and get a first look at the medicalfield. It just reassured methat I do want to become a nurse. I had a greatsemester with the Health Academy program!