Described by her supervisors as someone who is “so pleasant, so positive, and works so hard,” Jimmesha Mack of Downingtown, PA, plans to graduate in 2015 with a degree in nursing and a minor in human resources management.
Mack’s interest in nursing stems from her personal experience and her exposure to the field through her family members. “I have worked for a few years at a nursing home in Downingtown, I have an aunt who is a nurse and I have many other people in my family who are in the medical field.”
Familiar with Immaculata because her mother took classes at the University, and looking for a good school that would be an easy commute from home, Mack said, “The small class sizes just felt right to me—often classes here are even smaller than they were in high school.”
She spoke of courses including “med surg” and “health assessment,” and talked about the knowledge and skills she has gained in clinicals, “where you get to experience departments like pediatrics and obstetrics.” Last semester she spent time at Paoli Hospital, and after students were divided into groups, she found herself assigned to a floor housing the oncology and telemetry departments.
As a result of these clinical experiences, Mack is familiar with a variety of medical specialties. “I do love obstetrics and labor/delivery,” she said, “but I’ve worked in geriatrics as an aide for the last four years, and that’s where I really have a lot of knowledge.” In addition to being a full-time student, a typical week finds her putting in about 42 hours in her post at the nursing home. It would “only be 40,” she said, except that she usually puts in two extra hours each Friday taking blood pressure readings for independent residents at the site.
“It keeps my skills sharp,” Mack noted, “and I also enjoy meeting the patients and talking with them.”
Active on campus with Immaculata’s Nursing Society, Mack also works in the University Communications Department, where she said she “takes responsibility for anything they need help with. For example, I’ve worked on the annual golf tournament, and some other special events. I like trying new things, and I also like having the chance to interact with all different people.”
In any spare time she might have, Mack said she is “committed to my family” (in addition to her parents, she has a brother, 18, and a sister, 12) “and active at our church, including choir. I guess you could say in this way I’m not like a typical college student, going out all the time to a lot of parties. But I like to have fun with my friends and hang out” when I can.
Mack continues to learn every possible aspect of her chosen profession while she considers her future. “I have family members who are traveling nurses, and that would give me a chance to travel and see the U.S.,” she said. Her minor—human resources management—has allowed her to learn what she described as the “business side of the hospital, so I could be a floor leader or a nursing supervisor.”
“I guess you could say I’ve seen just about everything,” Mack said, “I’ve even been with people when they’ve passed away. I’ve had residents come from dialysis and need help with their ports, I’ve helped people with showers, and I’ve worked with Parkinson’s patients. As a student, I’ll learn in class about the different coughs of someone with bronchitis or someone with pneumonia. But I have the advantage of working with patients who have had those, and I’ve actually heard the difference.”
Mack’s obvious passion for learning, tireless work ethic, concern for others, and positive nature will serve her well in nursing—and in life.