So it’s a Saturday night right? And I’m on call, watching some mindless History Channel stuff and perusing FB making a few comments here and there- you know- the boring stuff people do when they are on a surgical call leash 🙂
I get a FB message from a perspective perfusion student asking “What can I do to enhance my chances for my perfusion school interview?”
My reply was “Be yourself and you will do fine”.
We texted a bit following that- I asked her some questions, and it struck me that this young lady, was spending HER Saturday Night- not partying, socializing, or going out, but instead she was quizzing me on how to get into a perfusion program. With that sort of determination- I asked her if she wanted to write an essay regarding the profession and why she wanted to get into perfusion, as well as what she planned on doing in terms of making a difference- I told her, if she wrote the essay, I would publish it. No promises of whether it would help or not- just her demonstrating an effort that might in some way be recognized down the road, and help separate her from the pack.
All of that began about 3 hours ago, and without further fanfare, I will let Kiera Jones introduce herself 🙂
Oh BTW– Tomorrow is Kiera’s Birthday… Happy Birthday and nicely done Kiera!
Is There Room in the Perfusion World for Kiera Jones?
“We do not meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason.” Fall of 2014, my junior year at Alabama A&M University, I was reintroduced to my purpose. Having to decide whether I wanted to go main stream as a medical professional, was completely stressing me out. Sitting across from my general chemistry teacher in his office discussing the new edition of the MCAT test prep was definitely my heart check. “You’ve got a strong idea of the profession and life you want to live,” Dr. Hassan said, “but make sure this is something you will love to do.” Having to hurry off to dance practice, Dr. Hassan’s words resonated in way that none had before, but there was very little time to thoroughly contemplate as over a dozen women with their very different personalities and attitudes would soon await my guidance.
Rehearsal ends and the day is finally winding down but my mind and body is in reverse wanting to recap over the discussions and decisions ahead. Hours pass and it is well past midnight when I make one of the best decisions of my life; I am not going to medical school.
After robust research, I surveyed through 70+ medical careers without medical school and rediscovered a previous interest as my true calling, Cardiovascular Perfusion. The notion ‘time has a wonderful way of showing us what truly matters,” brings me back to the childhood memory I have of my grandfather who first introduced perfusion technology to me. His first encounters with a cardiovascular perfusionist, or pump tech at the time, left lasting impressions on him for he saw the same characteristics in the professional as he did in his own granddaughter: strong communication skills, quick critical thinking, and attentiveness. Dismissing his ideal career for me but staying closely knit with volunteer work, case shadowing and landing a job after undergrad in cardiology services still kept his ideals afloat. Although at the time I could not see his direct influence but having come full circle again gives me confidence to pursue my rediscovery of perfusion as a profession.
Currently I am employed as a Telemetry Technician where I am responsible for monitoring cardiac patients that have been placed on a heart monitor by their physician’s order. I have been trained in reading cardiac rhythms and to recognize cardiac arrhythmias that warrant an alert to their patient’s RN or physician. I utilize my rhythm interpretation skills each day along with organizational skills, charting on my patient’s progress through the day and trouble-shooting equipment from time to time.
I am a hard worker and quick learner who has learned to handle conflicts and responsibilities since I am the oldest of four children. I emanate a high level of ethical, intellectual, professional and personal values which complements my vision and mission on becoming a perfusionist. Relentlessly applying to programs after being rejected deems me committed to perfusion services needed and desired across nations, for I believe in perfusion as a rewarding career and profession. Acquiring knowledge of these services and training to better serve humanity is my long-term goal for I view perfusionists as modern-day heroes being the significant life line that patients and loved ones do not always see but most importantly being the irreplaceable expert others cannot be.
Overall, my main aspiration is to establish a perfusion school in my home state of Alabama. With the knowledge and skills I will develop, I plan on reducing the toll of cardiovascular disease by using my certification to travel and become Canadian and European Board Certified as well.
I am ready now to pursue my goal of becoming a perfusionist for I believe I have the ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment, displaying a sense of urgency along with the communication skills I have developed through my current line of work. My ability to adapt and succeed in a high stress environment along with my strong work ethic will do more than ensure that I will be a successful student and perfusionist.