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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wrapping Up My Internship at NIFS

I can’t believe I am saying this but I have only 2 weeks left at my internship with the National Institute for Fitness and Sport in Indianapolis. It seemed not that long ago I wrote to tell everyone how it was going. It has been an amazing experience. Honestly I wasn’t sure what to expect once I heard I received the position in the Educational Services department. I have learned so much about health and wellness while completing a wide range of projects. I have had the opportunity to work two amazing dietitians at NIFS, Heather Fink and Angie Scheetz. They are both a wealth of knowledge and willing to answer any question that I might have. I have enjoyed working on calculations for Iron Man athletes, putting together presentations to give to factory workers, helping with health fairs, assisting with field trips and getting to lead nutrition consults for other interns.

I have been working with another intern all summer Heather Wetzel. She is from Western Illinois University and it has been a blast getting to know her. She is a dietetic student as well and we have been nervously awaiting the start of our dietetic internships at the end of August. It has been so much fun working with her, but getting to become close friends with her and the other people that I have been working with. One thing I have really come to love about NIFS is how friendly people are. It is so welcoming and a great work environment. I have also enjoyed being able to learn more about myself and my interests. I know that I would love to work with a special population in the future, with children, the elderly or specific group of athletes. I have had the opportunity to work with all of these age groups throughout my summer at NIFS, which has been so enlightening.

I am really going to be sad to leave in 2 weeks. I have enjoyed being able to learn more about dietetics and wellness in a non-traditional environment. I have really come to value what NIFS offers the community of Indianapolis and how it even reaches out across the United States through fitness facilities in corporations nationwide. I had limited knowledge about what I was going to learn this summer and be able to take away from this experience. I can proudly say that I have gained immensely more than I imagined and I feel that not only is my resume stronger because of this work experience, but I have grown as a person. You have the opportunity to work out at NIFS and become a member I would highly encourage it or if you have the chance to be an intern I would tell you to get ready for an amazing summer experience!

With this summer job quickly coming to a close I am eagerly awaiting the next chapter of my life, my dietetic internship. That adventure begins August 23rd and my first rotation will be at the National Dairy Council in Indianapolis for 3 weeks and then I will be at St. Joseph Hospital for my foodservice rotation in Kokomo. I know there will be more stories about that once August arrives!

- Anna

My Last Summer as a Pharmacy Tech

So I’m sure the title is probably throwing a few people off since the School of Pharmacy is not part of the Health and Human Sciences Department. My major coming into Purdue was originally pharmacy before I changed to nursing my sophomore year. During the summer prior to changing my major, however, I managed to get a job as a pharmacy technician at the VA Medical Center in Indianapolis. Despite my change of major, my supervisors wanted me to stay on, and with flexible hours and good pay, I could hardly turn it down. I’m now going into my 5th and final year at Purdue. It’s hard to believe really. Time has gone by so fast. I know this fall is going to be bitter sweet. I’ve worked at the VA now for three years – this is my fourth summer. Last summer, I also worked at Riverview Hospital in Noblesville as a nurse’s aide on the Med Surg and Rehabilitation floors to balance out my pharmacy and nursing work experience. Over the years, I’ve learned so much, and as a future nurse, I’ve especially come to appreciate the work that my fellow healthcare workers provide for the patients. I’ll try to focus on the VA as much as possible since that is my current job and gives a different perspective on nursing.
The VA is very different from any other hospital that we, as health care workers, may ever work in. The patient population for one is mostly geriatric patients, though with the current war we are engaged in, we do see some military personnel that are home on leave or are finishing up their military careers. As such, many of the disease processes you see are those associated with the aging population – high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, heart failure, renal failure, depression, etc. And of course, there are traumatic injuries involved as well – some of which may be from wars long since passed and others more recent. One of the perk of working in the pharmacy is I’ve definitely gotten to know many of the drugs names very well, what they treat, and which ones tend to be given together. Many of our patients will come in and ask for their “high blood pressure pills” or their “diabetes medication,” not knowing the generic or brand names of the drugs and you get to know which ones their looking for pretty quickly. As a student, my responsibilities have consisted of checking in patients and processing their medications for pick up or mail, filling various prescriptions, making various compounds such mixing different types of cream or reconstituting powdered medications, and processing patients out of the pharmacy as they pick up their prescriptions. On an average day, we may have anywhere from 350 to 500 patients and process close to 1,000 prescriptions for pick up alone. The majority of prescriptions are mailed out to patients, and though we do fill some of those prescriptions, a lot of those medications actually come out from a massive mail out facility in Chicago. A large portion of our patients are also on narcotics of some kind, whether it is for pain, mood stabilization, or anxiety, and those medications are housed in the “vault” as we like to call it, which has its own staff and password to get into. Additionally, we also have a methadone clinic, which is used for patients who may be withdrawing from street drugs. They come in at certain times during the week and are given the methadone which has been dissolved in a fruity drink of some kind, and this helps to keep them off the street drugs.

So I’m pretty this entry is fairly lengthy as it is, so I’ll save some of the stories about the interesting people I’ve met or situations I’ve been put it for the next entry. Until then.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Loving Boston

I cannot believe that this is my last summer before I graduate college. Even while writing that sentence, I hesitated and almost wrote ‘high school’…weird how quickly time passes. During junior year I realized that I needed to make this last break memorable and decided to spend it in Boston with my sister. With that geographical location in mind, I then started looking for jobs and/or internships. I then came across a company called Ecolab and began a 10 step interview process, which led me to where I am today.

I just finished a 10 ½ hour workday and absolutely love my job! Every time someone asks me what I do, I hesitate because it is somewhat hard to explain and once I explain, the concept never comes out as cool as it should. Never the less, I will try. On a typical day I travel around to many different restaurants and hotels repairing and maintaining dish machines in addition to selling chemicals, sanitizers, and many other products that go along with back of the house operations in the hospitality industry. While that does not sound glamorous, I get to meet many amazing chefs, try their food, meet amazing people, and do this many times over all around Boston at most of the best restaurants in the city.
Other than work, I’ve had some time to do some pretty fun stuff! During the fourth of July I watched the fire works on the Charles River while the Boston Pops played. I also pardoned (sic) the Sam Adams Brewery, Harpoon Brew Fest, Boston Red Sox Game, Cheers Bar, and many, many more places that I cant think of off the top of my head. It is a wonderful city full of young people that I hope to live in when I graduate.
Lisa Moore

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

So I'm keeping super busy this summer. I have a physics class that's keeping me occupied, my job, and I'm doing research in a lab. One of my favorite things I've done this summer is my research. I'm working with Professor Laura Claxton in the Motor Development Lab in Lambert Fieldhouse. Being a part of this research has made me realize my love for kids. My major is Movement and Sport Sciences with a minor in Psychology, as well as a concentration in Pre-Physical Therapy (but that's probably going to change soon). A class required for my major is HK 253, Principles of Motor Development. This is the class that Professor Claxton taught. It was an amazing class that made me want to learn more and more and more. I realized one way to do this was to see if I could do research with her this summer. Luckily, she wanted me! It's been an absolutely fantastic experience, and I'm so happy that I took the opportunity. The point of my rambling is to tell you all to be active! If you love learning something, dig deeper! See what your options are and take advantage of what your professors have to offer! They're here to help you plan out your future, not hinder it!

Thanks to this research opportunity and Professor Claxton, I've realized that physical therapy may not be my thing, but occupational therapy may be juuust right.

Elise Leung

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Surviving the Concrete Jungle

My last post was on a snow day. I am now sitting in my temporary room in the Bronx, positioned in front of a fan I bought at Target yesterday, with the temperature reading 100 degrees [and a heat index of 103].

It has been quite a year, and a rapid one at that. Time sure flies when you’re working hard; however, as much as last August feels like a month ago, these last eleven months have forever changed my intellect, persona, and outlook on life. Upon arriving, I had no idea what to expect. In fact, I wasn’t entirely comfortable with being out here, essentially alone, but I knew that this was where I needed to be to further hone my skills and love for this industry.

I feel blessed for the knowledge I gained from the Fashion Institute of Technology and my internship at Cynthia Rowley – how I view design and my role as a creative visionary has matured and expanded; I’m exploring all horizons. Above all, I learned a great deal about myself and what I am actually capable of. Aside from countless all-nighters, balancing a part time job to pay for groceries, 44 hours of beading one garment, spending an entire day in Illustrator alone, teaching myself at times due to less-than-great professors, and handling eight classes at a time, I gained so much more in the process. There’s that old cliché that goes: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I think that rings true for all of us, for we’ve all been at multiple breaking points, but somehow you get through it. You learn that crap happens and there’s nothing you can do about it [referring to anything from the wrong subway route to a buttonhole marking gone wrong] – you just do things differently the next time. There were even times I failed this semester. Due to time just not existing, my final for one class was only 70% done at the presentation. Under normal circumstances I would never let this occur. I knew, though, that all I had done was the best I was capable of doing all year, so I was okay; the point was that I learned something.
My time out here exposed me to cultural and national characteristics I never would have experienced in Indiana. As much as I appreciate where I am from, I have fallen in love with the east coast. Numerous people ask if I could see myself living in New York City. My answer: no. I believe it is an absolutely wonderful place to visit, eat, go out, or work in, but not live in – at least for me, personally. Due to multiple trips to Pine Beach, NJ to see family and other sporadic trips along the coast, I can definitely picture myself out here somewhere, though. The future holds many options, and there’s still a lot of life to live.

I’m looking forward to returning to Purdue this fall, to my roommates in our lovely house, and to all my close friends and family. There were points in this last year I didn’t think I could get through, but somehow I made it. It has been a tumultuous, expensive, interesting, yet wonderful and irreplaceable journey. I have just one month left, and I plan on savoring it. This city will be missed.