Kelcey Kryzer: CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center
"Listen with the ear of your heart" is one of many Benedictine values that are installed in students at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University. However, Kelcey Kryzer, a senior biology major at the College of Benedict, is expanding on this value at a whole new level. Kelcey recently began a semester long internship at the CentraCare Heart and Vascular Center in the St. Cloud Hospital. Kelcey discovered this exciting opportunity after consulting Don Fischer, an Exercise Science and Sport Studies professor here at CSB/SJU.
"I was looking for future career opportunities when Don gave me the website to apply for this internship" Kelcey said. "I went to the website and contacted [the site] to request an application. I submitted my cover letter and résumé and got the internship!"
As a Cardiac Rehab Intern, Kelcey will have the opportunity to work in various divisions of the Heart and Vascular Center including Outpatient Care, The Stress Lab, and Impatient Care. During the first few weeks of the internship Kelcey has spent the majority of her time working in Outpatient Care.
"In Outpatient, I get to educate patients about eating healthy, lead exercises, and lead classes that educate patients about cardiac physiology" said Kelcey. "Since I am taking Anatomy and Physiology in school this year, I can apply a lot of the information that I learn in the classroom to the classes I teach at my internship. When they talk about stints and bypasses, I actually know what they are talking about from the material covered in class. What I learn at my internship can also help me apply what I learn in class. The hands on experience has already taught me so in such a short amount of time."
Kelcey has worked in the Stress Lab for a brief period of time where she has the opportunity to work with patients who have been referred to the Heart and Vascular Center by cardiologists. Other opportunities Kelcey has encountered include reading Electrocardiograms (ECGs) and monitoring patients' heart rates during exercise. Beyond working in Outpatient Care and the Stress Lab, Kelcey also gets to work with other professionals who work closely with the Heart and Vascular Center including dietitians, nuclear radiologists, cardiologists, and nurses.
"The interactions that I have had with the patients and staff has already made this a positive experience" said Kelcey. "The staff is always willing to help and get me involved in what's going on."
Although Kelcey has experienced a lot at her internship already, she still has many experiences ahead of her. After Kelcey completes her rotation in the Stress Lab, she will have the opportunity to work in impatient care. If her schedule permits and the timing is right, Kelcey may also have the opportunity to observe an open heart surgery.
Kelcey's advice for future interns is to "Ask questions and get involved. Don't be afraid to try something new! I know I would not have the same experience I am having if I was not as involved as I am." After graduation, Kelcey plans to take a year off from school to gain some experience before attending graduate school.