Written by: Julie Edwards, RN - Neurology ICU Nurse
Previous Summer III
It was late winter in 2002, and my good friend Katie called me to tell me she had gotten the Summer III position. "Check your mail" she said, and I ran off to do just that. Happy news followed, for I had been accepted into the Summer III program as well! The next months we spent planning and dreaming about what it was going to be like to work at Mayo Clinic. Little did I know it would change my entire life, and I mean ENTIRE LIFE! My whole future was redirected based on this experience!
In early June, Katie and I packed our cars with 10 weeks' worth of necessities and drove to Rochester, Minnesota. This was before GPS days, and we had printed out MapQuest directions to guide our travels. When we arrived in Rochester, we discovered MapQuest was not as smart as it thought because, Evanston Heights, the summer housing facility that had been arranged for us, was indeed NOT the neighborhood of single family homes MapQuest directed us to. Wel,l you would surely think SOMEBODY in the city would have been able to help us find the housing complex, but we drove around for two and a half hours until we found somebody who knew of our destination ... thank heavens for GPS and smartphones today!
The crazy journey to Rochester was not predictive of the summer that followed, as I can honestly say it was the best summer of my life! Katie and I lived with over 100 other nursing students that summer and had some of the best times! Being a Summer III at Mayo was a very surreal experience. As a nursing student, I became accustomed to feeling like an imposition during clinicals. However, I remember my first encounter with a physician as a Summer III, and had to pick up my jaw from the floor when the doctor turned to me and asked what I (the student) thought of the patient situation! That dynamic between physicians and nurses was something I never dreamed existed, and I know that it helped build my confidence as a nursing student that summer! To this day, I still value Mayo's teamwork and respect among colleagues.
Like I said, that summer changed my life! Not only was I offered a job at the end of the externship, but I made some lifelong friendships AND met my future husband that summer! What a fun and exciting whirlwind of a summer, and more than 10 years and two kids (almost three) later, I still look back at that experience and know that that summer was the beginning of my life!