Timing is Everything

Timing is Everything
Posted on 05/10/2017
Career Experience

Some people say that timing is everything, and for Makenzie Folsom, that sentiment rang true.  As a senior, Folsom decided to enroll in the Health Science Extended Career Experience (ECE) because she wants to pursue a career in healthcare, but she wasn’t 100% sure which area.  “I figured nursing, but there are so many other areas that people don’t even think about,” explained Folsom.  To provide direction, Folsom chose the ECE to help her figure out what to do before getting to college and potentially wasting a lot of money by pursuing a major that in the end might not be the right fit. 

When asked how she became passionate about the healthcare industry, Folsom shared that it happened when she was in middle school.  One day, Folsom’s grandma, Cindy Williams, told her a story about her day at work as an oncology nurse.  “It got me thinking that this is something I might want to do.  So it started with me asking my grandma a ton of questions all of the time,” said Folsom.  As a high schooler, Folsom learned that she was required to complete six job shadows prior to graduation.  On her second job shadow, Folsom explained, “I went and job shadowed my grandma, and it was awesome.  I got to see some of her favorite patients and talk with them, and after that experience, I knew that I needed to go into healthcare for a profession.

The ECE has helped Makenzie to narrow the scope about what she wants to do, career-wise, within the healthcare industry, and being in the right place at the right time helped.  Folsom’s favorite experience throughout the semester long ECE was when she shadowed Obstetrics (OB) at Spencer Hospital.  “Mrs. Kluver set up a whole day at the hospital where we could pick whatever we wanted to do and wherever we wanted to job shadow, and I went to OB and med-surge in the morning and surgery in the afternoon,” explained Folsom.  She had been to OB before, but she knew she wanted to go back because she had more questions for the nurses.  While in OB, the nurses informed Folsom that they were having a slow day, but shortly thereafter, a woman came in who was going into labor.  The initial thought was that she wasn’t going to have her baby while Folsom was there, but when they got her settled into a room and hooked her up to the machines, it was quickly determined that the delivery would be imminent.  After giving the ok to have Folsom in the room, she got to witness the labor and delivery of the new baby.  Folsom’s response to the experience?  “It was just so amazing.  I had goosebumps and started crying, even though I didn’t know the parents.  It was so beautiful.” 

The afternoon session had big shoes to fill after witnessing childbirth, but Folsom’s experience in surgery was very inspirational too, as she got to watch a hip replacement followed by a total knee replacement.  During the knee surgery, the doctor was explaining things, and Folsom was excited because, having taken anatomy with Mr. Munson, much of what she heard was familiar. “The entire day was fun and pretty amazing as well, and it definitely helped me to narrow down what I want to do, which is OB,” said Folsom.  “I am definitely headed on that path now.”

As Folsom begins to wrap up her senior year, and is admittedly facing a bit of senioritis, she shared her plan to attend UNI in the fall.  Eventually she will transfer to Allen for nursing, graduating with a BSN. 

All ECE students are making final preparations for the Extended Career Experience Showcase.  Students will be sharing their experience with SHS juniors as well as parents and other community members.  Folsom said that while it was sometimes challenging to manage the responsibilities of the ECE with her full schedule of challenging advanced placement and dual credit courses, she added, “This has been so rewarding.  I know what I want to do, and for anyone thinking about the healthcare industry, they need to do this.  You will kick some things off your “maybe” list and add some things that you might never have thought of before the experience.”

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