Sioux Falls Spotlight
2011 Alumna Jessica Myers says she has "no doubts this is the right path for me. There are always different avenues I can take as an RN. I love emergency medicine, but I also love obstetrics. As an RN, I can kind of have it all." Always mindful of new opportunities, Jessica comments, "I now have access to upward mobility (RN to BSN) through USD to advance my career."
Jessica Myers says she has always had an interest in the medical field, which in part, explains her service to our country as a medic and her desire to become a professional nurse. Jessica enlisted into the Army National Guard in 2003 as a medic. In 2005, along with the 153rd Engineer Battalion, she served on a humanitarian mission in Louisiana following hurricane Katrina/Rita. The unit's primary mission was support for US soldiers assigned to cleanup search and rescue. Grand Isle, LA had no operational clinics for civilians, so Jessica worked with other medics, mechanics and medical providers to establish a small clinic. Locals came to the clinic for treatment of injuries and infections sustained during cleanup operations. While in Wyoming with her Battalion on an annual training event in 2006, a forest fire broke out. The mission shifted from training to treating those suffering from dehydration/smoke inhalation. In 2008, part of her unit was sent to Suriname, South America. The medics supported soldiers and engineers by setting up a small "sickcall" tent inside the base camp. They also ran an ambulance to each construction site so medics were at each site in case of an emergency. In the fall 2008, Jessica transferred to the 730th Area Support Medical Company. The next summer, 2009, Jessica's unit was assigned a mission on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation. She worked alongside the Indian Healthcare System, in small town clinics providing care. She also helped plan a weekend mission in a small community, focusing on diabetic screening and teaching.
Jessica reflects, "My military career as a medic has definitely influenced my passion to become a nurse. After a few humanitarian missions with the Army National Guard, I knew that I wanted to become a nurse." Jessica comments, "USD's Nursing program in Sioux Falls seemed perfect for me since I already had a family and was not a traditional college student." She applied and was accepted into the USD nursing program in Sioux Falls, beginning nursing courses in Fall 2009. During the summer in 2010, after completing her first year of nursing courses, Jessica's unit was deployed to Operation "Kout Mein" or New Horizon in Gonaives, Haiti. More than 5,000 patients were seen, 1,800 of whom were children. 3,000 prescriptions were filled and 40 minor surgeries performed.
The following pictures give a glimpse of Jessica's experiences in Haiti:
|Jessica working with an interpreter to teach a Haitian patient about medication.|
|This young Haitian girl came in to the clinic with an eye infection. Jessica recalls, "when I first saw her, she could not open her eyelids and they were so swollen they looked like golf balls were stuck under her eyelids. I spent about an hour irrigating and cleaning and then sent her home on a broad spectrum antibiotic. She came back four days later (photo) with full vision in both eyes."||
In addition to performing ultrasounds, Jessica used her knowledge of sonography, to teach the Haitian doctors and staff to use an ultrasound machine.