MN or ND: Potential Student Seeking Job Shadow Opportunity

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Perfusion Job Shadow

Potential Student Seeking Job Shadow Opportunity

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Editor’s Note:

Hello to Minnesota and MN CCP’s :)

This young man is looking for a job shadow opportunity somewhere (he lives in ND and hails from MN).  I know some great people in Duluth- and of course Rochester (Mayo) is a tremendous opportunity.

Can you give him a hand?

Frank

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Hello,

My name is Spencer Roll and I am currently a freshman at the University of North Dakota. I have been interested in the field of perfusion since about halfway through my senior year of high school, and I think it is a very exciting, very interesting profession.

I would like to attempt to shadow a perfusionist somewhere so that I can see if this truely is a field that I would enjoy. However, I don’t know any perfusionists, or really anyone who works in an operating room so I have been having a difficult time finding opportunities to shadow. I have read on this website that there have been other students able to be connected to shadowing opportunities, and I hope that you may be willing to help me.

I am originally from Eastern Minnesota and I am willing to drive as far as I need to for this opportunity. If you could reach out to any and all perfusionists willing to let me see what this experience is like I would be forever grateful.

Thank you,
Spencer Roll

Email:  spencerroll@aol.com

Phone:  (651) 323-4196

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Perfusion Notes: [3]

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A Student Diary:

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LOOKING AT PERFUSION SCHOOLS

Like I have already mentioned I was accepted at my first and second choice schools.  My first interview was with my second choice school and so I turned down all other interviews except with my number one choice school.  I remember both interviews very well and have strong feelings about both interviews.

I flew in for my first interview and was rather nervous and had been studying my notes from shadowing a lot in the previous days.  I got there and checked in to my hotel and walked around the campus doing a little recon of the campus and where I needed to be in the morning and then left.

(Campus Recon)

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I walked from the campus to apartment complexes around the campus to take some tours and see about a place to live if I wound up being accepted and choosing to attend the school.  I ended the night by getting delivery to my room and then going to bed early and making sure I was fully rested for what would be a nerve racking day.

I arrived to my interview and found that I was one of three people there that day for interviews.  Now I got a little more nervous thinking they might be looking for only person on this particular day or maybe none of us if they deem us not well suited for the program.  Then I was made even more nervous when one of the other candidates told us her friends had already been accepted and were told same day right before we leave for the day.  Now that I was good and nervous we started the interview process and I was the third and final interview of the day.

(Just Kidding-  It wasn’t this intense)

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I walked in to only 2 people in the room and was very surprised to how relaxed the environment was.  I quickly composed myself and prepared to be quizzed on perfusion and very detailed information since I my experience was my big thing to go on.  However, the closest the questions ever got to perfusion was what perfusion is.  I was very surprised how little perfusion was discussed and very relieved that it was over and I feel I gave a good interview.  So we then all ate lunch with the faculty and then took a tour of the facility and then went to the main office where we were each told our fates.  I was one of two that got in that day and was elated that I knew I definitely had a future in perfusion.  The other candidate that got in was from there and gave me a ride to the airport with plenty of time to spare.  I was a happy camper and was pretty excited.

I then arrived back to my home and was still shadowing and working while figuring plans for finances and getting ready for school until I got a letter in the mail with an interview request from my number one choice.  By this time it had been a while and I had heard back from all other schools and the dates had passed for the interviews that I had turned down, so I was very surprised to get it and threw a wrench into what had been my plans up to the minute I opened that letter.  I called my parents and told them I have one more interview and then we went from there.

(Heading back out for the third interview)

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So the time comes for my second interview about 4 months after I had been accepted elsewhere.  So I flew in again and stayed in a hotel right across from where I had to be in the morning and kind of did the same ritual.  This time one of my Dad’s friends from med school worked at the same institution except in anesthesiology.  Unfortunately, he did not know any of the people I would see the next morning and could not give me a leg up which thankfully I did not need.  He took me out and showed me the town and we went and had dinner before he dropped me off for the night and I went to bed early again.  This time felt way different going into the interview.  I had hardly looked over my notes going in to the interview and was relatively relaxed when I got there.

I was about 45 minutes early and made small talk with some of the interviewers that were already there before some other candidates walked in and I started chatting with them.  There were 13 of us there for interviews and we all had vastly diverse backgrounds whether it was educational levels, nationality and just overall personality.  I was just about as relaxed as sitting in my recliner watching a baseball game.  I remember sitting there thinking they are going to eat my lunch because there is no way I am ready for this interview, not too mention I already got in elsewhere.  However, when the interview process was explained to us I knew this would be a much more intense process and then I tightened up a little more.

We were broken up in to 2 groups and one group was interviewing first (my group) and one was taking the tour first.  I was the fourth person I believe in my group to interview.  There were 2 different interviews I had to go through with 3 people in each.  This was a TRUE interview for perfusion.  They started with basic questions where I would make sure to drop some anecdotes in about my shadowing experiences and then they started hammering me about perfusion details.  I think I held my own pretty well, but you never know.  I also did not realize until looking back about how relaxed I had been with the interviewers, especially the second interviewers.  Both I and they were making jokes, laughing, sitting back in our chairs just having a nice little discussion.  I can even remember catching myself at times thinking to myself that this does not even feel like an interview it was so relaxed even though we were just sitting there talking perfusion.

We talked about everything from equipment, surgeries, medicine and all the way to concepts of perfusion.  After the interview we had lunch catered and then my group took the tour and waited for the other group to be interviewed.  However, I felt bad because I had to leave to make my flight and could not stay for the final remarks which I hoped was not going to hurt my chances.  Anyways, I got the call and a confirmation email at work that next Monday that I had been chosen to be 1 or 5 people accepted into the program.  Needless to say I was once again elated and quickly accepted.  I then told the other school shortly thereafter that I would not be attending anymore and explained why.

When I compare the two interviews I can draw clear feelings to both interviews.  I felt like not only was my second interview much more intense and detailed, but the styles were greatly different.  I found that a more strenuous interview made me think of that program and as a more fast paced, going to make you a great perfusionist not just an average one.  I also liked I was interviewed by more people including first year students in the program.  I liked seeing that the first years were actually involved and obviously knew their stuff to be conducting an interview.  However, I did very much enjoy my first interview and still think it was a good interview.  The first interview was more of just trying to identify my personality while the second interview was both identifying my personality and then seeing if I had actually been learning perfusion like my application and letter of recommendation claimed.  I like challenges and felt the second interview to be much more challenging and felt at home.

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POST INTERVIEW

Now my interviews in the spring I have already found and apartment and found a roommate that was also accepted into the same program.  The apartment and roommate fell into place like clockwork within three days of being accepted to my number one choice.  I am now still getting time in the operating room while still working another part time job.  I already have my books for school and have begun reading to try to get ahead even more than I already am.  Like I have said before I am going to school to become great at being a perfusionist, not mediocre, which is why I am trying to be way ahead going in.  I am not getting in to perfusion school to bolster my resume to jump into med school or using it for a gateway in to anything else.  I am going to school to be good at what I want to do and think I have taken the preliminary steps in achieving that goal, but only time will tell.

For now I am just about a month away from making the move and will give y’all updates after the move once I get into the program.

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Off to Clinicals & Perfusion School

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Why We Do This [11] The Real Lives That LVADER’S Live…

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Dancing LVAD

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Editor’s Note:

In a continuation of the theme- that at times we question why we do some of the operations we do- or give the effort we give, I offer the suggestion that people are indeed far more resilient then we give them credit for, and that our constant exposure to the sickest of the sick, has put at risk what got us into the profession in the first place: hope and optimism.

Everyone of us has compassion and a drive that pushes us to believe we make a difference.  It is that will that keeps us working as perfusionists- NOT the paycheck.

As I write this, I am speaking as much to myself as anyone else.  I was once the “This is a life- and let’s pull out all stops to keep it going!” kind of guy.  From the Navy on up. It was- NEVER GIVE UP !

But I have seen us give in.  There is less drama losing a patient 30 years later, than as a young colt with an ER stethoscope hanging around my neck.  And by ‘giving up” I don’t mean a callous dismissal of the life in front of us- rather an accumulation of similar pathways we have all been down, that seem to end at the same ladder to heaven.  

At some institutions few VAD’s survive.  I have been at 30 (hospitals as a perfusionist) – and the numbers aren’t comforting.  But what is comforting is how much technology has shifted and enhanced the survival curve.

An example of how misguided our perceptions may be, was posted on a FB page by my good friend Joshua Morris (who has had HeartMate in for the last 5 years.  A testament to the team that operated on this gentleman- AND NEVER GAVE UP.

In all honesty it’s pretty simple really:  People with VAD’s have lives too- and enjoy living- probably a lot more than the un-afflicted who take Life’s precious days for granted.

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