I didn’t know what to expect on the first day of Health Academy. We arrived at the classroom at St. Francis for the first day and Chelsea and I were a little nervous. But we immediately felt comfortable when we saw how welcoming Mrs. Clarke-Hang was. We spent the first couple days going through the syllabus and making sure everyone knew the rules of the hospital. We had a couple different speakers come in and explain to us what to expect throughout the semester. Mrs. Clarke-Hang also had us do a couple assignments on careers to start us off. After this first week, I knew Health Academy would be a lot of fun!
Handmade Thank You Letters
Professional Thank You Letters
I really liked this rotation! At first glance the name “Respiratory Therapy” looks a little boring—I assumed that it would be a bunch of walking around and giving people their inhalers. But I was wrong! Nurses who work in Respiratory Therapy are involved with patients in the ER and every ICU. During the rotation I got to witness many different things. I saw breathing treatments with masks and mouthpieces, patients being intebated, and I even had to wear a mask and gown in one room because the man was still being tested for certain airborne diseases. The most interesting event that happened while I was in Respiratory was when the nurse that I was shadowing, Carrie, was called down to the ER to intebate a patient who was coding. It was very hectic down there, with several doctors running around asking a bunch of different questions. At one point they made me leave the room while the patient was being x-rayed. I got to follow that same patient to the CT scan and then to the PICU. It was a great rotation and all the nurses were very nice! Rotation Week 1: Respiratory Therapy
This rotation was very interesting. I shadowed an RN named Amanda both days and she was very nice! She didn’t mind me following her around and she talked to me a lot. She explained the patients’ symptoms and their backgrounds. The first day we did a lot of sitting around and observing patients. She would chart each patient every hour and go in every once in awhile to change different medications around or to change bandages. The patients were the same both days. One of the patients that Amanda had was a man who had just had a tumor removed because he had testicular cancer. It was a little awkward, but she made me watch her bandage that up. Her other patient was a woman who had just had surgery on her kidneys. Both patients were extremely sick and needed tons of treatments! It was also interesting when I saw a respiratory therapist come in to give breathing treatments, because they were my rotation a couple weeks ago. I also got to see a physical therapist come in and work with an old man. All the nurses were very nice and I got to know them all pretty well! Rotation Week 3: Trauma/Surgical ICU
This week I was in Labor and Delivery and it was by far my favorite rotation! The first day I was with a nurse named Michelle. She was not very excited to have me shadowing her—she said about a total of three words to me the whole time and I learned nothing about her patient or what a labor and delivery nurse did. That day, I arrived about 20 minutes after her patient had given birth to her baby. I was so bummed that I missed everything! I just got to see her recover and be moved to the postpartum wing. The second day was a much better experience for me. I was with a nurse named Caroline (who was very nice and actually talked to me!!) and I arrived right as they were giving her patient an epidural. The nurse giving the epidural was from my parish and I knew his son, so we talked for a little bit. Right from the start, I was amazed at how calm the patient was. People have always said that delivery is the most painful thing ever, but this lady was completely fine! She never once complained and was very cooperative. She actually talked to me a lot about her family and how this was her fourth child. Her and her husband asked me about high school and where I would go to college. They were both really nice! When the actual delivery came, it went extremely fast. I think one of the residents thought that I was a resident too because she asked me to help the OB get ready for the delivery. So I had to tie her gown and then I just stepped out of the way. The baby came and I was standing right next to the mom the whole time. The couple was waiting to find out the gender—it was a girl! I got to watch the charge nurse examine the baby and give her her shots. Everything was normal and the couple was very happy. I think they ended up naming her Presley. This rotation was my favorite BY FAR and one that I will never forget! This was my first time getting to see a delivery, too! Rotation Week 5: Labor and Delivery
These two days in the operating room were incredible! I can’t even begin to explain everything that happened, but I’ll try. The first day was awesome. Everyone was so friendly and accepting of me! The front desk was very helpful and showed me exactly where everything was that I needed. After I was scrubbed in, I was escorted to an operating room with Dr. VinZandt. He was removing a man’s gallbladder. This was cool because him and my dad are good friends, so we spent the whole time making fun of my dad. J Also, his son went to Kapaun so we talked about that for a little bit. It was a scope, so I stood at the foot of the operating table and watched the screen. Dr. VinZandt had to go inside the gallbladder and take out some of the stones because it wouldn’t fit through the incision—these stones were as big as olives!! They were disgusting and stinky. But I was amazed at how relaxed all the surgeons were! There was country music playing in the background and they were all telling jokes every now and then. After this procedure, I went to Floor 7 with three very nice first-year residents who kind of took me under their wing. They liked to walk around with me and tell me all about everything. They let me use a scope (while it was out of the patient, of course) to see how it worked. I got to play around with that for a little while. Then one of then performed a scope on a lady, first going down her throat, and then looked for a bowel obstruction. Those residents taught me so much that day that my head started hurting and I was exhausted. But it was really nice how they were going out of their way just to make sure that I had a good experience. After that, I went back downstairs and saw another gallbladder removed (it seems to be the popular thing to do these days). The residents made me hold the gallbladder just so they could see my face haha. It was slimy and weird. Rotation Week 7: Operating Room
The second day was just as fun. I started off the day with seeing a removal of the colon. Dr. Olsen was the surgeon and he, too, knew my dad, which sparked up more jokes and conversation. The anesthesiologist was very nice and was helping me understand what was going on through the whole procedure. I had to make sure that I didn’t touch ANYTHING that was blue—there was a nurse in one of the operating rooms that freaked out every time I got near something blue, even if I wasn’t touching it. After this surgery, I saw ANOTHER gallbladder removed—this doctor literally did it in about 20 minutes. It was crazy! Then I moved in to the same operating room I was in before and saw the prepping of a lady getting ready to get a hardcore infection removed. I was stunned to see that this infection was massive—it was under her armpit, and there was literally a hole. I got to stick my finger in it! It was disgusting, but it was because she was obese and never really took care of her chafing skin. I’d say she let that get a little too out of hand. But it was 3 o’clock soon after they prepped her and I had to leave. This experience was amazing and I would do another rotation in the OR any time! (Continued)
This week I was in the NICU. I enjoyed it a lot! The first day I spent following Nurse Tracey. She was very nice and informative. She has kids that go to St. Thomas and so we know a lot of the same people. She gave me a tour of the whole unit and gave me a run-down of everything. She was in charge of three babies that day, all pre-mies that weighed less than five pounds! They were so tiny and it reminded me of when my little cousin was in the NICU last April. She explained that the babies are fed, changed and held every three hours, so in between the sessions they are not touched. The babies get stressed easily and need to conserve energy—they need as much sleep as they can get so they can grow! So in between the times when nothing was going on, I found myself dozing off. The NICU is kept very warm, dark and quiet so that the babies are comfortable—it made me pretty comfortable, too! The second day was just as fun! I followed Nurse Barb and she had three babies as well. She was very nice and taught me a lot. One of her babies was a little Mexican boy that was COVERED in hair. It was the hairiest baby I’d ever seen! She explained that he most likely had a syndrome, a side effect being thick hair growth—they are still waiting to hear back the test results. I got to watch her put a feeding tube down his throat and he didn’t like that very much—he had pulled it out once and he was trying to pull it out again. One of my favorite parts of being in he NICU was getting to see the moms and dads come in and bond with their baby. It is so heartwarming to see parents happily looking down at their brand new child. This was a very good experience! Rotation Week 9: NICU
Hand Washing Presentation
Part of Health Academy is going to different elementary schools around Wichita and teaching the students the importance of good hygiene. My group and I organized a presentation that taught little kids how to properly wash their hands and brush their teeth, step by step. We even included a song and a skit! We went to schools like Holy Cross Lutheran, St. Margaret Mary and many others. Via Christi was also nice enough to donate toothbrushes and bars of soap to us so that we could give the children handouts at each presentation. I think that the kids learned a lot from us and we got our point across in a fun and organized way.
R é sum é
Misty Marley Denise Clarke-Hang
Volunteer Services Health Academy Program Director
929 N. Saint Francis St. 929 N. Saint Francis St.
Wichita, KS 67214 Wichita, KS 67214
(316) 644-1132 (316) 619-5180
Executive Director of A Better Choice
A physical therapist assistant works alongside the physical therapist in caring for the patients. They help trauma patients or just injured individuals recover their mobility, relieve their pain and lessen their disability. Under the supervision of the physical therapist, assistants are allowed to help the patient move around, train them to use crutches, gather equipment for therapy, and keep the general area organized. They also record data from the treatment and report it to the physical therapist regularly. An assistant is not allowed to aide in the actual treatment of the individual because he is not licensed.
Most clinics require physical therapist assistants to have a high school diploma. The assistants are trained on-the-job so they can experience everything hands-on, but many states also require them to have an associate’s degree. The workers must also be certified in CPR and in other first aid areas, and they must also have had some kind of clinical experience.
Some requirements of physical therapist assistants are unlike the requirements of all other medical positions. Physical therapists and their assistants must have a moderate amount of strength: they help the patients exercise and move around, and at times they even may have to carry the patient. In other words, physical therapists need to be in shape. They also need to be well-organized, detail oriented, caring, and they need to be able to work in a team situation.
The median annual salary of a physical therapist assistant in May 2008 was $46,140.
Physical Therapist Assistant
Occupational therapist assistants work alongside occupational therapists to aid in the recovery of patients who have suffered mental, physical, emotional or developmental traumas. Occupational therapists help patients to be able to gain back their motor skills and to perform everyday tasks again. The assistants help the therapist to develop a treatment plan and aid in the rehabilitation of the patient. They record the progress of the patient and report it to the therapist. They also provide encouragement throughout the process. Another task performed by the occupational therapist assistant is the billing of the patient’s health insurance provider.
Occupational therapist assistants must attend a school accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education in order to sit for the national certifying exam for occupational therapist assistants. Assistants must take a two year course and they must have some clinical experience. Most training occurs on-the-job, and the assistant must have the desire to help people in need.
The median annual salary of an occupational therapist assistant in May 2008 was $48,230.
Occupational Therapist Assistant
Most psychiatric-mental health nurses treat patients with personality and mood disorders. This field has two levels: basic and advanced. The basic level nurses will have to go through a two year program and earn an associate’s degree. They will work with individuals, families, groups and communities and seek out the needs of the people. Then they will come up with a diagnosis and a plan.
At the advanced level of psychiatric-mental health nursing, nurses have to go through more training. They must earn a master’s degree in psychiatric mental health nursing and also a doctoral degree. Most of the time they become professors, researchers, or administrators.
There are many different areas that a nurse can specialize in in this field: Child-Adolescent Mental Health Nursing, Gero-psychiatric Nursing, Forensics, or Substance-Abuse.
Basic level nurses in this area have an annual salary of $35,000-$40,000; advanced level, $100,000 or more. Currently, there is a shortage of all nurses, in every field.
Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
Physician who studies the female reproductive system, pregnancy, labor and peuperium.
Must have a college degree, four years of medical school, and four years of residency.
Can work in private practices, hospitals, clinics, or as teachers.
Dr. Brendan Mitchell, a physician in Kansas City, MO whom I interviewed, said that he works four days a week from 8am-5pm. He sees approximately 25-40 patients a day.
At most, an OB/GYN earns $417,000 annually.
I chose to research about OB/GYNs because I think women’s health is an important and interesting field. I would love to help women and get to witness the miracle of life on a daily basis.
Lecture Reflection: January 22, 2010 The first day of Dr. Surendra Singh’s ‘Career Voyages’ class was at Newman on January 22nd. When Mrs. Denise Clarke-Hang told us that we would be taking a college course, I was somewhat intimidated. College classes are so hard! Plus, my dad Steve Clark had taken Dr. Singh’s class before med school and he had told me that it was difficult. But the first day of class was very informative and I can tell that it is going to be a very useful class. It started off with Dr. Singh reviewing the syllabus. He said that throughout the course we would be watching certain movies and hearing speakers every class, each from a different area in medicine. He also recommended several books that would be helpful to us while determining our careers. Our first speaker was Dr. John Leyba. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry and a PhD in Nuclear Chemistry. He explained his personal experience with schooling and the many difficult years of studying that lie ahead for us. He stressed the importance of loving your career because you would be doing it for the rest of your life. When it comes to salary, that should be a smaller priority than liking your job. We learned from him that with each advancement of degree, you can earn $15,000 more. For example, one can earn $45,000 with a Bachelor’s, $60,000 with a Master’s, and $75,000 with a PhD. Another point that Dr. Leyba explained was the three areas that one can work if he has a degree in science. The first is working in academia: Being a teacher is a good way to show leadership and to help people. To be a teacher takes skill, patience and personality but this is the lowest paying field of science. Another area is working in industry: You could work in a pharmacy, oil, general electric, and many others. This area pays better than academia and you can double your pay in ten years. The last area you can work in science is working for the government. You could work for the NIST (National Institute of Science and Technology), the Department of Energy, the Red Cross, or the United Nations. This is the best paying of the science careers. Although this class was only two hours long, I learned a lot about life. I learned that your future career will determine your life and your happiness. You need to pick a career that you love because it is what you will be doing forever. Hopefully this course will help me to determine my career path and to clear up any confusion I have about the medical field.
Lecture Reflection: February 5, 2010 This week in Career Voyages our class heard from two very important people: a veterinarian and the director of a nursing department. These two people had a lot of information that was very helpful to me, because I am considering being a vet or a nurse! Dr. Greg Reichenberger is a veterinarian at the West Wichita Pet Clinic Inc. He graduated from Bishop Carroll high school and went to college at Newman and K-State. He spent four years at Newman, one year of taking animal science classes, and four years and K-State where he got his degree in Chemistry and Biology. After college, he went to veterinarian school and worked with large animals (buffalo) for three years in El Dorado . Dr. Reichenberger said that the required prerequisites were Immunology, Anatomy and Physiology, Developmental Biology, Dairy and Poultry Science, Nutrition, and Western Horsemanship. Dr. Reichenberger said that the best part of his career is interacting with people. He said that vets and MDs especially need to be able to talk to people—personality is very important. Coming right out of school, a vet earns approximately $60,000-75,000. As a vet goes on in his career, he can earn up to $150,000 or more. The second speaker we heard from was Dr. Bernadette Fetterolf, the director of the nursing program at Newman. She immediately came across to me as very intelligent and friendly. She showed us a short film about the program that presented to us all the reasons why we should consider nursing school. Newman admits in the Spring and Fall semesters. In the end, they select about 32 students, which is approximately half of the applicants. Although this is a strict cut, Dr. Fetterolf stresses that Newman is based on students achieving success; therefore, the professors will work hard to help the students that don’t get in and make sure that they get in the next semester. Last year, Newman had a 100% acceptance rate into medical school. That’s unlike any other program in the country! I was very impressed with that. These two speakers were incredible. I thought it was very convenient that I got to hear about two of my career choices in the same day! I believe both of these people presented their careers in a convincing way and presented it well.
Lecture Reflection: February 12, 2010 This week in Career Voyages was by far my favorite. We heard from an optometrist and a woman who works in forensics. I was so fascinated by these individuals that I found myself asking question after question at the end of their presentations! Dr. McCarthy is currently an optometrist in Wichita , Kansas and has been for 21 years. When he was young he had lots of eye problems, including Retina Dystrophy. A doctor told him that he needed a corneal transplant, but his eye doctor disagreed immediately—and the eye doctor was correct. The power that that eye doctor had was incredible to Dr. McCarthy and from that point on, he knew that that is what he wanted to be when he was older. He graduated from Newman, where he got a degree in Biology with the help of Dr. Singh, and continued on to optometry school in Oklahoma . Being an optometrist is so much more than just asking the same questions over and over, “Which one looks better, 1 or 2?”. Each doctor can specialize in a certain area, whether it be the elderly, children, post/pre-surgical consults, etc. Optometrists can do anything with the eye with the exception of surgery—they can prescribe oral medication for eyes and can treat Glaucoma. They deal with MRI’s, the brain, tumors, and underlying illnesses that cause changes in eyesight. Dr. McCarthy stressed that optometry can take you anymore—you can work for the government in the military, the hospital, research programs, corporate or private practice, or pathology. Dr. McCarthy specialized in children and correcting vision. Prescribing contacts and classes are only 20% of his job. He mainly works with elderly and people who don’t take care of themselves. He told of the importance of encouraging his patients to get a physical and blood work along with their eye check-ups—lots of times it is too late for the patients and not only do they lose their eyesight, but they also go through other issues throughout their body. On a daily basis, about 90% of Dr. McCarthy’s patients (mainly the elderly ones) have eye problems, and 40% are linked to diseases. The last 10% are usually children’s check-ups. At the end of his speech, Dr. McCarthy gave lots of good advice. He said that when applying to optometry school, they will look at your freshman year grades and your extra curricular activities. He said to start taking science classes and to get to know your instructors because you will need lots of recommendations. Another thing he stressed was to go shadow practices, led by both women and men—they will have different perspectives. The last bit of advice he gave was to love your career. It is too much work if you don’t love it—you need a passion for it. Be the best you can be!
(Continued) The second speaker was Shelley, a forensic scientist, specifically a DNA analyst. She attended Wichita State University , where she got degrees in Biology and Chemistry, and a Master’s in forensic science. She is currently working on getting her PhD. Shelley explained her job very thoroughly by presenting a PowerPoint. She showed us where she works, a building that consists of a forensic lab, an administration, and a pathology wing. She explained that those who work in pathology are the ones who test the bodies and prepare them for the funeral home, and those who work in forensics are the ones who specialize in toxicology, drug identification, trace evidence, and work with firearms and tool marks. On a daily basis, she works with cops and lawyers and almost always has to testify in court. Her main job description is examining the evidence, finding foreign liquids, and running DNA tests on it. She has investigated everything from vomit to semen. She says that her job is a dirty one and requires a strong stomach. The part of Shelley’s presentation that I found most interesting was the pictures she showed of the BTK case. She had tons of interesting evidence on her PowerPoint, such as the floppy disk he sent in to the police department, pictures of his victims and newspaper articles concerning him. Shelley said that her career is one that will always keep her on her toes, and one that requires loads of patience, people skills and passion. Both of these individuals were extremely inspirational. Whether it is having expertise on the eyes, or being incredibly gifted in creating DNA charts, these careers require a massive amount of intelligence. I can only hope to one day be like these two people. And they both have Dr. Singh to thank for their success!
Lecture Reflection: February 19, 2010 One of the speakers we heard from this week was Dr. Mark Troilo, a dentist who practices in Rose Hill. He started his speech off with telling us the importance of liking your career. He then took us down the road of his education and how he became a dentist. Dr. Troilo graduated from Newman in 1974 and attended dental school at Creighton. He was in dental school every day from 8am-5pm, and then he would come home to study. This busy schedule causes strain on marriages and relationships. It also requires lots of self-esteem because the doctors can be very rude to the students in dental school. Studies have shown that this field has the #1 divorce rate, the #1 suicide rate, and the #1 substance abuse rate. Also, right out of school, a dentist is approximately $250,000-$300,000 in debt. Another negative aspect of this field is that 75% of Americans have a 3rd party paying their health bills, but in dentistry it’s only 10%. This means that everyone is paying for their own dental care, and many people don’t see its importance and won’t go see a dentist. But on a lighter note, he told us that dental education is at an all time high! He stressed that dentistry is a better field than medicine: right now in America, there are too many doctors for patients, but in dentistry it is the opposite. Dentists also have flexibility to make their own schedules, they have good wages, and lots of free time. When he graduated dental school, there were 6,000 in his class—today, there are 4,000. Dentists are in very high demand; therefore, they receive good pay. He said that today, physicians’ incomes are dropping, and dentists’ incomes are rising. Dr. Troilo concluded his speech with three quotations to remember while choosing the path to take in life: “Once a man has made a commitment, nothing will stop him short of success.” —Vince Lombardi, “All of us are born for a reason, but not all of us discover why.” —Danny Thomas, and the third was “Put God first, family second and work third”. I believe that Dr. Troilo is a very intelligent man, and I liked how he presented both sides to dentistry, the good and the bad. He didn’t show bias and he was very honest throughout the whole presentation. I’m glad I got to hear his advice.
(Continued) The second speaker that we heard from was Mr. Ron Shipley, the program director for Radiologic technology at Newman. He presented his speech with a very informative PowerPoint that showed us lots of pictures of different kinds of x-rays. Radiographers are the people who provide patient care, position patients for examination, select proper radiation exposure, and assist the radiologist. He explained to us the different ways of taking an x-ray and taught us which one serves which purpose. A CT Scan has an x-ray tube and a series of detectors that go around it. This sees the patients as a loaf of bread, one piece at a time. The second x-ray is the MRI, which is basically a big magnet. When the magnet is turned on, the Hydrogen nuclei in the body align within the cell and the computer creates an image. This x-ray is good for looking at soft tissue around the bones. The third type of x-ray is sonography. This technique uses sound waves to create an image, and is often times seen being used on pregnant women. Another form of x-ray is Nuclear Medicine, which is when nuclear chemicals are injected into the patient and it puts off radiation. People who are receiving bone scans typically will have this type of x-ray. A hot spot will occur on the image where there is excessive blood flow. A PET is similar to Nuclear Medicine, because a mixture of radioactive chemicals and sugar is injected and will show physiology and hot spots. And the last type of x-ray is the MPI, which is a way of looking at the heart. Mr. Shipley kept his presentation interesting by including lots of examples of pictures and by teaching us how to read each form of x-ray. He also had a great personality, which kept us all on our toes and able to focus. This presentation was special to me because my dad is a radiologist at Via Christi and even went to Newman for the first four years of college. So I felt like I was basically taking a walk in my dad’s shoes. Radiographic technology is something I would like to look in to!
Lecture Reflection: February 26, 2010 The first speaker we heard from this week was Dr. Crook, a woman who owns her own clinic, Lakepoint Family Physicians. She started off her speech by explaining her path through med school. Getting in to med school is very difficult, but Dr. Crook says one just has to be extremely focused. She got most of her support from her mother, telling her to just keep pushing her way to the top and actually become a doctor, instead of just settling with nursing. She went to college for her first four years at Newman, where she met Dr. Singh and took his Biology class. At first, when she applied to KU med school she didn’t get in. She was on the verge of giving up, but soon realized that medicine is what she loved and what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. So Dr. Crook re-applied and re-took her MCATs and she got in! She thought that she would be the stupidest in her class, but she got straight A’s her first year and graduated within the top 10 of her class. She moved back to Wichita to finish up her med school, and has since been here in her own clinic. Dr. Crook has six children, almost all of which were born while she was in school. She said that it is difficult to keep a marriage and children going while trying to put all your effort into school. But that is what she wanted, and it taught her responsibility and the importance of balance in her life. Dr. Crook told us that in Family Medicine, she gets to see everything. For example, one day she saw a patient who has bronchitis and needed a check-up on her pregnancy. Being in this field, Dr. Crook could help her out with both of her needs in just one appointment. One of Dr. Crook’s biggest regrets in her life is when, for 17 years, she prescribed birth control. Growing up and not attending Catholic schools, she never was taught that contraception was abortion. But once she discovered this, she decided to completely change her career around. She attended a class in Omaha for a year and became a professional in Natural Family Planning. She expressed that she loves this new addition to her field and it makes her so much happier to include what God wants in her practice. Her job keeps her on her toes and she loves discovering new ways to make women happier and healthier.
(Continued) The second speaker was Mr. Clint Stucky, the director of the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Newman. He started his speech off by telling us that occupational therapy assistants help people who have physical, psychiatric, and developmental disabilities. He explained the difference between therapists: a physical therapist deals with the patient from the navel, down. An occupational handles the patient from the navel up—so they work with the hands, arms, and face. Mr. Stucky said that OT is more fun that PT because it involves more. PT’s basically teach the patient how to walk again, whereas OT’s teach how to hold things, move things, pick up things, and all kinds of different everyday tasks. The number one diagnosis treated by OTA’s is strokes. There are three areas of occupational therapy: self care, work activities/education, and play. These occupational therapy assistants work in schools, homes, hospitals, and nursing homes. They make approximately $45,000 or more per year. We can find more information on the OTA program at the Newman website. I enjoyed this lecture. He was funny and entertaining!
My Future Plans
After graduation, I will be attending the University of Kansas! I plan on rushing to be in a sorority. But as far as my career choice, I am still undecided.
The semester is coming to an end and it is sad to have to leave Health Academy. From hands-on activities with patients on rotations, to researching in the classroom, I have learned so much from this experience. I am one of the very few students that get this incredible opportunity and I am definitely grateful for it. I feel more prepared for college, and I feel confident now about applying to medical or nursing school. Thank you Mrs. Hang for being so generous and sharing your time and talent! You are a great teacher and role model