April 8th, 2015
By Jill Turck
Nursing Students hope you have a great conference at this week’s convention NSNA! Stop by our booth 509/511 to learn more about our A Life-Changing Career with Mayo Clinic!
The Summer III Nursing Externship Program extends beyond the borders of Rochester, MN. I learned this when I was first exposed to Mayo Clinic in Michigan and then again, two years later, in Kansas.
As a sophomore pre-nursing student, I was very aware of the Mayo Clinic Summer III Program and the way it helps nursing students connect theoretical classroom knowledge to real life situations. To my amazement, Mayo Clinic attended a career fair at Calvin College, a small Christian school in Grand Rapids, MI. While senior nursing students crowded around the Mayo table to speak about post-graduation employment, I waited to find out about the Summer III program. The HR person’s face beamed when I finally made it through the line and told her of my interest. “Latasha, this last one’s for you,” she said and that’s how I met Latasha Perkins, Mayo Clinic’s wonderful Summer III ambassador. I already had my information packet in hand so Latasha quickly realized I didn’t need logistical details. I needed to know if I was a good fit for Mayo Clinic. So, although it was late in the day, and she probably would have liked to pack up and leave, Latasha sat down to listen to me explain my passion for nursing and all my lofty career goals.
She connected with me on such a genuinely personal level that, by the end of our short conversation, I knew Latasha is amazing and different from any other recruiter I’d ever met. NOW, of course, I recognize that she was upholding what I know to be the Mayo Clinic Values. But back then I was simply struck by the idea that, if Mayo Clinic has people like Latasha, then I want to be there too. After repeating my name about a dozen times, and asking her not to forget me, I promised she would see my application the following December. She laughed good-naturedly and promised not to forget.
My life took an unexpected turn when I decided to take a gap year in my studies and work full time as an EMT in Chicago while transferring to a larger university. I was willing to finish my undergraduate degree a year later than originally planned but I also had to postpone Mayo Clinic. So, nine months after meeting Latasha, I emailed her to explain why I wouldn’t be applying for the 2013 program after all. With little expectation she would recall our meeting, a few hours later, crazy as it sounds, I received her response. She DID remember me and would be expecting my application for 2014. Thank you for not forgetting me Latasha. By remembering and caring, you showed me for a second time, just how special Mayo Clinic must be. Without your warm response, I don’t know if I would have mustered the energy to apply to a long-distance externship so soon after re-starting my life in Kansas City. But I did and I was incredibly excited and grateful to accept my Summer III offer.
Little did I know I would experience the “Mayo Way” once again before actually moving to Rochester becoming a Summer III.
I met Mary, a pre-op nurse at a Kansas Hospital, during one of my clinical days in the CV-OR last Spring. Within minutes of working with our first patient of the day I could tell there was something dramatically different about the way Mary provided care. Despite the fact it was 7AM, and Mary’s third consecutive day working a12-hour shift, I watched as she treated our anxious patient with compassion and reassurance. She took the time to listen to his concerns and answer every question, no matter how small. She had a contagious smile on her face and assumed complete responsibility for helping the patient feel calm and safe. She performed her nursing tasks so diligently that, by the time his family left for the waiting room, she had time to pull a chair to his bedside and simply hold his hand – one person connecting to another. She didn’t see him as just another patient; she saw him as an important individual with highly individual needs.
When the patient was transported to the OR, Mary turned to me and asked what I was doing with my summer. My response was general – just that I would be working as an extern in Minnesota. But Mary immediately gasped with delight and said, “Are you going to be a Summer III?” Before I could figure out how she knew, she said she was a Summer III and it had been the single most impactful experience of her nursing career. She made lifelong friends that summer, was even in one roommate’s wedding, and the women remain close friends years later, getting together frequently even though they live in different states.
All of a sudden I realized I had seen Mayo Clinic in action – again – only this time it was a Summer III who was one of my nursing mentors. I was incredibly impressed by Mary, as a person and as a nurse, but I still couldn’t understand how Mayo Clinic produces such wonderful people. What was the secret? I combed the website over and over again, reading all the information and watching and re-watching the Summer III interviews on-line. I wasn’t skeptical when I heard their comments, I just couldn’t fathom a place like they were describing.
Week One of our Summer III Program began to give me answers. As I found myself standing in the unfamiliar setting of an OR, I sensed right away that there were many things to learn here that nursing school wouldn’t, and just couldn’t, teach. Mayo Clinic would teach me about nursing that goes well beyond medications and procedures.
During week two, a patient came into the OR and, as the anesthesia team began their work, my clinical coach walked to the patient’s side to provide a smile and a hand to hold, I saw the patient’s body relax and it all seemed very familiar. Suddenly it clicked and all made sense as I thought back to Mary in Kansas City. Handholding is an international symbol of care and comfort and it represents the spirit of nursing at Mayo Clinic. That’s what I’d been struggling to identify. The Mayo Way is all about caring.
These are Mayo-trained nurses, I thought to myself, the ones who truly and wholeheartedly believe that the patient always comes first. These are the nurses who are willing to hold hope for a patient when he can’t hold it for himself. Mary and Becky embody Mayo Clinic nursing and now I will too. Thank you Becky for all your support and guidance, and for holding my hand during 10 weeks that have powerfully changed my life.
I am so thankful to be a Summer III. The program has been everything I hoped it would be and I’m convinced we have each been prepared and empowered for an exceptional nursing career. We may be here at Mayo Clinic or, like Mary, hundreds of miles away. But wherever we’re called to serve, we will always be Mayo-trained nurses and people will notice there’s something different about us – some THING that sets us apart from the rest. Thanks to Mayo Clinic, I can’t imagine ever being anything less.
March 20th, 2015
By Jill Turck
My name is Amelia Howell and I am an LPN at the Mayo Family Clinic Northeast. I have been at Mayo for three months but my journey to get here was a long one. I had dreamed of being a nurse since I was eight and working for Mayo became a dream shortly after.
Two family members have battled cancer. One was treated at Mayo in Rochester. One was not treated at Mayo and passed away within a year of diagnosis. I always felt the quality of care received, or rather didn’t receive, made all the difference, thus making Mayo all the more appealing to me. For me, the best thing about being at Mayo is exactly that. I AM AT MAYO! I have struggled with Cerebral Palsy my whole life and while being a nurse was always my dream, I was often told that it was a foolish dream; eventually I got a push from a very dear friend and went to school. School was no easy feat and I became very ill during my last few quarters making it seem like I was going to be unsuccessful with my nursing career. I pressed on though and eventually, I made it to my pinning ceremony and passed my boards. I had done it, I had become a nurse.
The question now was could I actually make it a career, and then one day I got the call, Mayo was offering me a position. Not only had I succeeded at becoming a nurse when several doctors told me it was an impossibility, I was going to be working for Mayo. My dream had finally been realized. When it came time to start, I was nervous to say the least, I began to question my abilities as a nurse, but then something changed, while orientating at my clinic I was constantly working as part of a team, and in an effort to be part of the team and make teamwork successful I began to feel empowered. I began to have a can do attitude, and realize that I can do this, I have all the skills. Because I felt so empowered I began to volunteer to learn new skills and even to be one of the LPN on a pilot project at our clinic. While I am a long way from being an expert in my field I have several resources and a great support system to help me grow through my career with Mayo. More important to me than the benefits or the reputation I get by being a Mayo employee is the knowledge that should I choose to further my nursing career Mayo would support me. While I have only worked for Mayo a short while it has made a huge impact on my life, not just in my sense of pride and accomplishment, but it has helped me to believe anything is possible. As for my family, I have never seen my mother more proud. Mayo for her has always meant the difference between life and death, it has always meant quality of care and kind nurses. I have yet to have a day where I haven’t thought to myself, today is a good day. I am at Mayo.
Written By Amelia Howell
LPN at the Mayo Family Clinic Northeast
November 17th, 2014
Written by: Rita Jury, Nurse Administrator
Jim Hubert, a registered nurse educator and wound care specialist at Mayo Clinic Health System Oakridge in Osseo, Wisconsin, celebrates life by giving. Even before he became a nurse (his second career), Jim was generous with his time and talent by serving those in the community, and he and his wife raised their family to do the same. He feels blessed and chooses to bless others!
Jim has been at Oakridge for 12 years and has engaged fellow employees in feeding the homeless through The Community Tabl
e in Eau Claire. Two or three times a year, the signs go up announcing the next Oakridge-hosted event. Jim gathers employee volunteers who prepare, cook, serve and clean up after the meal that typically serves between 150 and 200 homeless people. He also has a theme and gathers items that are necessary for that population – personal hygiene needs, like soap, washcloths, and deodorant; dental care needs like toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, and denture cleaner, and; winter needs like long underwear (a huge favorite!), and new or gently used sweaters, fleece, coats, hats and mittens for people of all sizes and ages (we sometimes forget that children are homeless too).
Jim organizes one person to check blood pressures for any person who stops by. Community Table charges the sponsoring site $100 to help defray the cost of food. Jim gathers donations or pays this fee himself.
Those of us who have participated with Jim are humbled by the benefits we receive – we see grateful people get food, warm clothing, a blood pressure screening, a smile, a warm hello. We see a team of employees pulling together for a great cause and having a wonderful time getting to know one another better. We leave feeling we received so much more than we gave. An additional benefit: We care for each other differently after we serve together!
Jim’s volunteerism didn’t start or stop with the Community Table – he’s been involved in projects with his church, with Hope Gospel Mission, Feed My People, and the Eau Claire Free Clinic, and he has a passion for finding and recycling medical equipment for people with a need. Jim’s house has stored hospital beds, wheelchairs, commodes, walkers, lift chairs, shower chairs, canes and more over the years. Nothing makes Jim happier than to place equipment in the homes of people who cannot afford what they need to recover fully.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful season of giving thanks and of giv
ing back. Jim’s tireless energy around giving reminds those of us who work with him that poverty and homelessness and need are not seasonal. Jim reminds us that giving is a way of life.
September 18th, 2014
By Dana Smith
Written by: Ilana Logvinov, RN, MSN, CCRP
RN Advanced Clinical Research Coordinator
May 2003 was the date my journey began at Mayo Clinic in Florida. I began working as a staff nurse in the Medical ICU. Prior to joining Mayo Clinic, I completed my initial nursing education in Odessa, Ukraine. I moved to the U.S. in 1997, and in 2001 I graduated with my associate’s degree in nursing science. As I worked at Mayo Clinic, I continued my education and eventually obtained my BSN and MSN degrees in clinical trials research. I have always been self-motivated, and my colleagues provided tremendous emotional support for my nursing endeavors. I have always wanted to work in research, and I began working as a clinical research coordinator for the Department of Anesthesiology in 2007. This was a life-changing career move for me.
Clinical research opened so many opportunities and allowed me to excel academically. After completing my MSN in 2010, I began working closely with my investigators and participating in writing research proposals, completing the studies, and writing manuscripts for publication. I shared my passion for research with many nurses I mentored along the way as well as clinical research interns. I am currently working on my doctorate of nursing practice degree. My successful career would not have been possible if it was not for Mayo Clinic and wonderful staff that work here. My favorite quote is by Walt Disney: “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
August 5th, 2014
Brandon Mauck, RN Nursing Informatics
Growing up as a South Dakota native, I was naturally very familiar with Mayo Clinic and its great reputation. As an adult I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of this unique and historic health system over the last four years. I’m always very proud of Mayo Clinic…proud of the enterprise as a whole, down to the department I work in. Though, I must say that I never imagined that I would be so well cared for by my employer.
Just after Thanksgiving (2013) my immediate family and I made a trip back to the Midwest to visit family and friends for the holidays. A few hours after arrival in North Dakota, my wife, who was 29 weeks pregnant, went into pre-term labor. As you can imagine, being in rural North Dakota and three hours away from trusted medical care was quite distressing. Once my wife and unborn baby were stabilized and care-flighted to Bismarck (ND), we found ourselves fearful of the medical unknowns that lay ahead of us. On top of this, we were terrified to know that we were now “stuck” 1,500 miles away from preferred medicine and from home with a 3.5-year-old, 2-year-old, and soon to be NICU baby. As I tried to brainstorm on how I could make this situation better or easier for my family, a light bulb went on in my head…“Mayo!” I recalled reading an article on the Mayo intranet about the Mayo air ambulance only a couple weeks prior to our trip and I had put the 1-800 number in my cell phone. I literally called the Mayo 1-800 helpline at 11am on a Sunday morning and my wife was picked up at 6pm that night for an air ambulance flight back home to Phoenix. With the help of all, my wife was able to make it to 31 weeks before our baby boy was born, a handsome preemie NICU baby who was healthy and only needed to grow and learn how to drink out of a bottle.
I write this in extreme gratitude to Mayo Clinic for providing me with a positive life-changing experience. Thank you Mayo Clinic, I will be forever grateful that you helped my family move from a situation of distress and fear to a place of improved safety, convenience, and comfort.