Freshman Melissa Slusher (Orwell, Ohio/Grand Valley) came to Keuka College in the fall of 2013 knowing she wanted to study medical technology. She just had no idea what direction her education in this ever-evolving field should take.
The medical technology field is quite broad and can encompass everything: from assisting pharmacists and physicians with treatment of their patients, working in a research laboratory, teaching health care professionals or working in the pharmaceutical, dental and public health sectors.
The degree’s primary focus, according to Slusher, is the study, diagnosis and treatment of different diseases, a field that is becoming more important as the technology used to treat these illnesses becomes more complex.
In January, Slusher conducted her Field Period™ at the Dover Air Force Base with the 436th medical group in Dover, Del. During her time on the base, Slusher assisted her brother-in-law, Senior Airman Jeffrey Utz on the base’s health clinic.
After completing her first Field Period™, Slusher came away with a more-defined definition of her career goals, and also left determined to play a bigger role in helping people recover and resume their healthy lifestyles.
“I have a passion for the medical field because I look at it as helping ill people become healthy, so they can live the healthy, happy life they deserve,” said Slusher, a defender on the Keuka College women’s soccer team.
“I chose medical technology because I knew that I wanted to pursue a job in the medical field, but I was unsure which field I wanted to study. With this major being so broad, I knew it would help me find my way.”
One of her primary responsibilities during her first Field Period™ was providing vaccines and shots to soldiers. Among the vaccinations administered on the base: chickenpox, smallpox, hepatitis A, hepatitis B and tuberculosis.
Every Thursday, Slusher and Utz spent the day administering smallpox vaccinations to soldiers who were preparing for deployment overseas.
Since smallpox can be a serious disease that can spread rapidly through a population — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have classified smallpox as a Category “A” agent, those that pose the greatest potential threat for adverse public health impact and large-scale dissemination according to the CDC’s website — Slusher said her work vaccinating these soldiers was extremely important to their long-term health.
Along with providing the essential vaccination, Slusher and her supervisor made it a top priority to educate these soldiers on the potential dangers of contracting the smallpox disease. They created a PowerPoint presentation that explained how the smallpox vaccinations would leave a series of punctures on the skin that must be kept covered at all times.
“My supervisor and I informed the men and women getting this vaccination how smallpox works, how to properly take care of it and what to look for if there are signs of a reaction to the vaccination,” Slusher said.
“We then gave the soldiers goodie bags consisting of bandages, gauze pads, wipes and hand sanitizer. This was my favorite part of the Field Period™ because we were helping protect our soldiers and wishing them luck on their deployment.”
Reflecting on her first Field Period™, Slusher said she appreciated the opportunity to help these soldiers while learning first-hand the important role that vaccines play in keeping people safe.
“I love how detailed and precise the medical field is. It continues to grow every day and it’s something I want to be a part of,” Slusher said.
“In coming to Keuka, I was in search of a degree to become a sonographer (ultrasound technician). I plan on continuing my research in this field and using my Field Period™ to help guide me down the right path. My dream job would be to work in a laboratory helping create cures for illnesses. I cannot even imagine what it would feel like to find a cure for an illness and save people’s lives in the process.”
SIFE, a familiar acronym on the Keuka College campus since the advent of the 21st century, no longer exists.
In a move designed to reaffirm its “long-standing commitment to using entrepreneurial action as a catalyst for progress,” the international organization Students in Free Enterprise has changed its name to Enactus.
“We needed a name that captured the entrepreneurial spirit that fuels everything we do,” said Alvin Rohrs, CEO. “We were also eager to create a name that reflected how global this organization has become.”
Some 57,000 students are members of Enactus clubs in 1,600 colleges and universities in 39 countries.
“Entrepreneurial action is not something that is relevant to a single culture or nationality,” said Rohrs. “What we do is just as powerful in Shanghai as it is in Sao Paulo, just as transformative whether we are in San Francisco or Sydney.”
Or in Keuka Park, N.Y., where the Keuka College SIFE team has enhanced the quality of life in the region while qualifying for nine SIFE national competitions in the past 11 years. (more…)
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