What is your current title and role?
I am currently a Registered Nurse and a certified surgical technician.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Detroit Michigan.
Tell us about your professional (medical, nursing, allied health, etc.) school?
I attended Wayne County Community College which is one of the best community colleges in Michigan.
Tell us about struggles and challenges in achieving your goal and how you overcame?
My background was playing professional hockey and when it was apparent that things weren’t going to work out in my favor, I had some thinking to do. Traditionally I wasn’t the best student and I’ve always had to work harder in academics than others. If you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way to achieve it. I had to spend countless hours with tutors and doing my own research online about how to become a better student. I started later than most but nonetheless I was able to achieve the goal that I set out to with perseverance, hard work and commitment to my goal. I kept my eyes on the prize of academic success.
Please share with us about your family and your support group?
I come from a really small family. I’m an only child and it’s always been my mother and I. I have a super close group of friends that are more like brothers since I was 12 years old. My mother and these people are my unit. It is their support, understanding, and confidence in me, that has made be able to be the man I am today.
Please share a memorable experience from your training that has stayed with you till today.
I remember having a patient that was paralyzed who was not many years younger than I was, he was injured in a motorcycle accident and physically he would never be the same. That did not change the person he was inside, and he had a positive attitude about his new situation. Everyday there were friends or family there, his support system was amazing. He was in rehab for a long time, but he did regain some function in his legs. Taking care of him will always stick with me because It makes me realize how important a support system and a positive attitude is during adversity.
Please share a memorable teaching moment.
The most memorable teaching moment didn’t come from a clinical situation for me. It came when I was having a very difficult time and considered dropping out of my program. It was the best example of perseverance, even though you have a goal and the determination to achieve it. We sometimes overwhelm ourselves with trying to put too much on our plates, sometimes we have family, people, and things pulling us in all directions. You can’t control everything or other people, but you can control what you prioritize. You can control the effort you put into not only your studies but keeping anything and anyone that is a distraction. I had to let a lot of things go, success IS going to cost you something but the people and things that remain at the end of your journey are and were always meant to be there.
Please share a highlight from your practice/current role.
I recollect a pregnant mother who was injured in a motor vehicle accident and was rushed to our labor and delivery unit. She was bleeding heavily, and the baby was in distress. She was diagnosed with abruption, which meant the placenta had separated from the uterus before the baby was born. There was very little time to think, and we just had to respond as a team. I had the very important job of assisting in the surgery to deliver the baby rapidly and stop the bleeding. I retracted, suctioned blood, and provided exposure allowing the surgeons to see everything clearly so they could proceed efficiently and safely. The surgery was long and stressful, but we saved both the baby and mother which was very fulfilling.
What do you like and dislike the most about working in healthcare?
The only thing I dislike about the industry is that some of the older generation have a fixed mind set and are resistant to change and innovation. What I like most is that you’re always learning and getting exposure to new knowledge, skills and experiences from colleagues, the healthcare team and patients that you take care of.
What are three things that you are grateful for?
I’m grateful for my health, my ability to put myself in the shoes of others before judgement, and my Faith
What excites you outside medicine?
I’m really into marine life and nature. I love sports and helping children with getting better.
What advice do you have for students interested in healthcare?
Explore every avenue, and if you are set on something make sure you can find a mentor and support.
What do you think the student of today needs to be successful in matriculating and graduating from professional school (medicine, nursing, allied health, pharmacy)?
A flexible, adaptive, and respectful personality will get you far! Listen to others’ stories and take pieces from their stories for inspiration.
How would you advise or guide students to develop leadership skills, community outreach experience, research opportunities and clinical shadowing?
If you have to opportunity to shadow, take the advantage. Let people know about your plans but be careful who you are transparent with. Everyone isn’t going to support your passions and dreams. Choose wisely who you listen to and confide in.
How can we support and guide students to achieve good grades and be successful in standardized exams?
This is a tricky one! Students must develop critical reasoning skills and understand the exam questions. They must focus on answering the questions as stated and not go off course. In my case I had a great grasp of the content, but I didn’t truly grasp what was being asked in the questions. I think we need to help students focus their thinking and approach with standardized exams, the problem isn’t always a lack of knowledge it’s often understanding the question.