Why did you initially decide to apply for Health Occupations?
There was not a specific moment that made me decide. I always loved learning the sciences in school. I thought the human body was amazing and enjoyed learning everything I could about it. I knew I wanted to have a career in the health field someday, and I thought the vo-tech school would be a great foundation and building block to my future.
What experiences do you remember most from your time at Crawford Tech?
I enjoyed every aspect of tech from learning in the classroom, to practicing hands on skills, to being in the community for clinical work. One of my favorite experiences was practicing hands on skills with my peers. Not only learning the task, but also how to communicate with “patients” played by my classmates. This was helpful in nursing school, as I already had a background of talking with and caring for my patients. I was also awarded the Health Occupation student of the year when I was a senior and that was so special to me. I am so grateful for all the experiences.
Can you talk about your instructor and how they had an impact on your career path?
I would say my instructor is the main reason I became a nurse. I loved listening to her teach you could feel the passion she had for her career as a nurse. I knew I wanted to love my career as much as she did. She supported our class and made us all know we could be successful. We were a group of mostly women from all different schools and all different backgrounds, but she gave us all the same tools to help build our own future. She always listened to us and helped in any way that she could whether it was personal advice, extra study tools, or just being there for us.
What was your education and career path following graduation?
After graduation, I went to Gannon University to earn my Bachelors of Science in Nursing. It was a 4-year program. The first two years are typical prerequisites and foundation courses. The last two years included a heavy nursing curriculum and hands on clinicals. During my junior year of college, I became a nurse extern in Labor and Delivery at Meadville Medical Center. I would work during school breaks and occasionally on the weekends. By January of my senior year, I had already accepted a full-time nursing position at my current job.
Tell us a bit about what you are doing in your career?
I am a Registered Nurse in Labor and Delivery at Meadville Medical Center. We are considered a LDRP labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum unit. We care for patients before, during, and after birth, typically all in the same room. This is different from bigger hospitals who have their own units for each of these stages of pregnancy/delivery. I like the LDRP structure because I can bond with a patient sometimes starting in pregnancy if they have to come to the floor for testing, lab work, or any complications. I also enjoy the variety my job offers. Some of the different roles we perform include triaging patients, performing nonstress tests on higher risk women, caring for both c-section and vaginal deliveries, caring for mom/baby couplets postpartum, helping with breastfeeding, performing as an OR nurse if needed, caring for hysterectomy patients, and stabilizing both mothers and newborns who need to be transferred to a higher level of care. I experience and learn something new almost every shift I work. I typically work at least 3 twelve hour shifts a week. We also have 24 hours of “call time” we are responsible for picking up. This is in case we are busy on the floor and need an extra set of hands or if there is a call off we need to cover for. I enjoy working strictly nightshift. So, I work either 3P to 3A or 7P to 7A. We average about 30-40 deliveries a month.
If you could share a piece of advice to students who are considering applying to tech, what would it be?
Do it. You won’t regret it. You will learn SO much. You will make friends. You will start your future with a solid foundation that will let you go anywhere.