Hands-On Experience Helps Confirm GU-Wausau Student’s Career Goals

Globe University prides itself on instilling the value of volunteering in the community and the enrichment gained professionally and personally from these experiences.  Recently, Maria Petrowski, medical assistant student, gained confirmation that her chosen career field is the right one.

“The time spent with the residents reaffirmed in me the passion to be in patient care,” stated Maria.  She was referring to the hours she spent participating in the “Foot Spa” activity at Mountain Terrace Senior Living in Wausau.

medical assistant

Maria Petrowski, medical assistant student

Kathy Zimmerman, activity coordinator for Mountain Terrace, contacted Globe University-Wausau in search of volunteers willing to do very basic foot exams during a “Foot Spa” held at their facility.  Since many residents dress without supervision, often their feet go unchecked Zimmerman noted.  This is a chance for the residents to get a little pampering while ensuring that there are no issues with their feet.

Zimmerman felt that it may be a great opportunity for a medical assistant student to interact with residents while bringing attention to possible problems.  A physician will be doing thorough exams in December, but for the time being residents are enjoying pampering of a relaxing “foot bath” followed a brief foot rub with lotion.

Maria felt the experience was great hands-on experience, as well as a chance to interact with the residents.  She said it was a great volunteer opportunity and she recommends all students take advantage when chances like this are offered.  Petrowski added this would also be a really good activity for massage therapy students to participate in as well.

Kathy Zimmerman has asked to schedule another “Foot Spa” session in January 2016 and will again be looking for Globe students that may be interested in volunteering a few hours to help treat the residents to some foot pampering.  There really are no specific requirements except a willingness to volunteer and interact with senior residents.

The Globe University – Wausau medical assistant program is constantly seeking places and events for the students to interact and practice their skills.  Past events have included performing free blood pressure checks at the fair and Business Expo, and providing first aid services for the Gus Macker 3-on-3 basketball tournaments, to name a few.

“There are certain things that cannot be taught in a classroom setting and these outside opportunities are an excellent way for students to interact with ‘strangers’ and gain confidence in their skills,” said Kerry Miller, medical assistant program chair.  “No amount of textbook learning can prepare them for face-to-face conversations and the ability to demonstrate compassion and empathy when they get out into the field.  Events like these are an essential part their education.”

As Maria Petrowski said, regarding her overall experience at Mountain Terrace Senior Living, “Book learning is great, but hands-on is golden!”

About the Author: Kerry L. Miller, CMA-AAMA, EMT-B, is a program chair for the medical assisting program at Globe University in Wausau. She has worked in the field of medical assisting field for over four years. Kerry also has a diploma in medical assisting from Nicolet Area Technical College, her associates from Globe University and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree through Globe. She is also an emergency medical technician (EMT-Basic).