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Marshall Tech students learning about careers in the medical field.

Wed, Nov 20, 2019 at 09:00 PM

Students get real world lesson on ups and downs of a medical career

Marshall Tech students planning for a medical career went to Marshall Medical South for a lesson on what’s it’s like to work in a hospital.

The 40 Healthcare students listened to a nursing panel that included careers from emergency room to labor and delivery to surgery. Each nurse described why they aspired to enter their particular field, what education was required and what a typical day looks like. They all agreed that no two days in a hospital are alike. 

“You just never know,” said Leanna Dilbeck, RN and director of the Women’s Center at South. “You get a little bit of everything in OB. It’s very interesting. It’s very rewarding.”

Jonathan Smith, RN and director of Surgical Services at South, said he likes the excitement of working next to a surgeon. 

“It’s very rewarding because you’re right there with the blood and guts.” 

Brenda Wilson told students about her career handling triage in the emergency department, which has involved snake bites, car accidents, overdoses and heart attacks. 

“There are a lot of things that happen in the ER that keep you up at night but it can be a happy place too,” she said. “We work as hard as we can to save people’s loved ones.”

Students asked staff members to list the positives and negatives of their jobs. Under negatives, they listed having to work holidays and weekends. They all agreed that good patient outcomes are the main positive aspect of their positions.

Students also saw interesting x-rays from diagnostic imaging. They listened to a respiratory therapist talk about a career helping people breathe, a lab tech talk about life in the lab and a dietician working to keep patients healthy. 

“We’re like private investigators looking for the tiniest detail,” said Lab Tech Amy Edwards.

Physical Therapist Kent Myer urged students to work hard on their undergraduate degrees so they can be accepted into a PT school. Hollie Powell, director of Care Coordination for Marshall Medical Centers, advised any student pursuing a career in social work that they should enjoy talking to people and listening to them. Social workers are resource finders for patients being discharged from the hospital.

“You’ve got to have a heart to help people,” she said. “We’re advocates. That’s what we do.”

Dr. Laura Grostick, a pediatrician with Marshall County Pediatrics, urged students to shadow a doctor, nurse, physical or respiratory therapist to see what a job is really like before choosing it as a career. 

“First see if it’s something you have a passion for,” she said. “Is it something you can do every day?”

She also suggested to those thinking of a medical career to earn an undergraduate degree in a field they enjoy and can pursue if they do not get accepted into medical school. 

“If you’re not in it for the right reasons and you’re not passionate about it, I wouldn’t recommend you pursue it.”