Healthcare Advisory Luncheon

Today the healthcare advisory board came to Baylor. One part of their visit is a luncheon that the healthcare students are invited to attend. The individuals who are on our advisory board not only support the program, but they also help to support those students who are in the program.

I had the pleasure of spending my lunch with Bill and Mary Jo Robbins, who are longtime supporters of Baylor University. I also had the opportunity to talk to Neil Fleming throughout the luncheon, who is helping to advance and develop the healthcare programming currently offered at Baylor.

I am always humbled and grateful for the support and encouragement that I receive when engaging with individuals who are our supporters. Knowing that we not only have faculty and staff at Baylor who are rooting for us, but also members of our advisory board is wonderful.

One topic of discussion during the luncheon was of lifelong learning. I have blogged about my interest in lifelong learning before, but hearing about its relevance to others further along in their careers is inspiring to me. I have always thought that exploring our curiosities is part of what makes life so enjoyable. Although I am certainly not always the best at spending my free time exploring, knowing that life-long learning is a part of others’ lives is reassurance and encouragement to continue exploring my own interests. It’s also a reminder that regardless of where my career is headed, that it is never too late to extend my education or to explore new opportunities.

I’m incredibly thankful to have such a large group of supporters and help as I develop professionally throughout this program.

Erin

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Diadeloso

Today is Baylor’s Diadeloso. It’s a day where classes at Baylor are canceled in the spring in order to encourage students to come together and celebrate their community (and gorgeous weather!). I am not going to lie when I say that I was definitely looking forward to Dia for the day off (and the long weekend!), but I was also curious about how Baylor celebrates Dia.

At my undergraduate college (Rollins College) we have Fox Day. Unlike Baylor, our day isn’t schedule and classes are canceled when the college president brings a large, cement Fox out to the flagpole in the center of our campus. Students then spend their free day doing on campus activities, visiting the beach, or visiting one of Orlando’s theme parks. At the end of the day everyone comes back to campus for the school-wide barbecue that is held on Mills Lawn in the center of our campus. I have always loved Fox Day and love the sense of community it brings when everyone is back at campus for the barbecue. I also loved having a random day off to enjoy time with my friends before the semester ended.

This year Diadeloso and Fox Day happened to land on the same day! I am VERY excited about this because I am able to celebrate BOTH of my schools’ traditions! Baylor has many more on campus activities than Rollins had, but I chose to spend my day fairly low key. Since I couldn’t make it to Disney World for this Dia/Fox Day I decided to watch Disney movies and relax. I then ended my day by taking a walk through campus and checking out what Dia events were going on.

I may be at a different school now, but it is nice to see students celebrating their schools’ and spending time with their classmates. I am especially lucky since I was able to celebrate both Fox Day and Diadeloso at once. I will always be a Rollins Alum, but I also have a special place in my heart for Baylor.

Erin

 

 

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Lutheran Sunset Ministries Nursing Home Visit

Yesterday I visited Lutheran Sunset’s nursing home with the rest of my healthcare classmates in Clifton, TX. The visit was part of our Public Health class this semester. Our visit was made up of a tour of the nursing home as well as off the assisted living program that the organization offers and a lunch. Although I have been to nursing homes throughout my life to visit loved ones, I haven’t visited one when looking at it through an administrative lens. Issues discussed included providing activities to accommodate for all of residents’ needs, floor plan designing to accommodate dementia and Alzheimer’s residents, and working with residents through their end of life care decisions.

I was very impressed by Lutheran Sunset’s facilities and their dedication to residents. One portion of the nursing home that we visited was the area that is designed to care for Alzheimer’s and dementia residents. The CEO explained that these residents are most comfortable in open rooms, rather than smaller spaces. As a result of this they designed a building to have open rooms in order to help their residents be comfortable and relax. Although not all nursing homes may be able to accommodate residents’ needs in terms of building design, it is always comforting to me to see organizations who truly care about the well-being of the people they are providing care to. My grandfather had Alzheimer’s and while it is a challenging disease to watch a loved one have, he was able to receive quality care in a nursing home when he could no longer be at home. Seeing examples of organizations who are dedicated to giving their residents a happy place to live is comforting and reassuring given the challenges I know so many families face with end of life care.

I was also very impressed by the organization’s dedication to providing for all of their residents’ needs- from mental to spiritual. The nursing home offered religious services as well as activities to help patients engage mentally (such as book clubs). I believe strongly in enjoying every day as best as we can and am happy to see that this facility gives its residents choices and the opportunity to engage in fulfilling activities. Although end of life care can be a scary and difficult time, it is an inevitable part of life. Being able to see an example of an organization that is dedicated to its residents and to providing quality care is reassurance that our loved ones can find happiness throughout the total duration of their lives.

Erin

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April Fools’ Day

Not too long ago I blogged about one of my favorite holidays…Valentine’s Day. If Valentine’s Day had an opposite, it would be April Fools’ Day. Why? Because I fall for absolutely everything.

I am always the person who falls for jokes about pop quizzes, having my fly unzipped, homework being due early, and many other jokes. So much, in fact, that I tend to fear going to school on April Fools’ Day because of how gullible I can be!

This year, however, the worst joke didn’t come from school….or a classmate. Oh no. It came from the internet. Although most April Fools’ website jokes are generally fairly obvious to me, I fell for one joke in particular. Which? About Disney opening a new park in Orlando. I know, I know. I should know better, but I am most gullible when it comes to things I am either terrified of (pop quizzes) or in love with (Disney World). Needless to say I am sorely disappointed that there will be no new Disney park. I am thrilled, however, that I was not pranked at school for once.

We will see what happens next year! What is the worst prank you fell for?

Erin

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Bye for Now, Chicago!

We are all headed back to Waco today after a fun few days in The Windy City. I had a wonderful time between attending sessions at the congress, spending time with my classmates, visiting the Science and Industry Museum and meeting up with one of my sorority sisters from college.

Yesterday was my fullest day at the congress yet and I really felt like I got a lot out of it. One of the sessions I attended yesterday discussed how one healthcare system is utilizing statistics in order to predict daily volumes. My classmates and I discovered that we have been doing some of the same analysis in our QBA class over the last five weeks! Although I’m sure they are using much larger groups of data in their analysis, it is exciting to see an application to what we have been learning within the healthcare industry. It’s also a great reminder to make sure I save my professor’s slides from QBA to refer to during my residency and after graduation!

In addition to having some great sessions, we also attended a luncheon as a group yesterday. The luncheon featured the guest speaker, Tim King. Mr. King is the CEO and founder of Urban Prep, which is a nonprofit, charter high school for boys. Mr. King discussed the challenges he faced when forming the organization, but that the school’s motto “We Believe” encouraged him to push forward. The schools were developed in response to address the poor graduation and college completion rates among boys in urban areas. Mr. King’s speech was a reminder of the importance of tenacity when we face challenges. I found the story of Urban Prep particularly interesting since I got together with one of my college sorority sisters who is doing Teach for America in Chicago just a few days beforehand. She shared similar stories of the challenges that students in lower income areas of Chicago face that Mr. King shared. It was truly a wonderful speech and overall a wonderful day.

Although I am glad to be going home, I am going to miss Chicago! I have only been once before and definitely need to come back when I have some time to explore more. Back to the real world now!

Erin

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Healthcare MBA Chicago Trip: Science Museum!

This week I am in Chicago with the rest of the healthcare students in my class. We flew up Sunday to attend the 2014 ACHE Congress on Healthcare Leadership.  Sunday night we simply registered and had the night to ourselves to enjoy Chicago. On Monday we attended an opening session for the congress and many of us also had sessions that dealt with career preparation and leadership. We all decided ahead of time to schedule most of our sessions of Wednesday so that we could have Tuesday to enjoy Chicago during the daytime.  Although I am looking forward to my sessions tomorrow, I am so glad that we had today free!

This afternoon I visited the Museum of Science and Industry with four of my classmates. One of my favorite things to do when visiting a new city is to visit their main science museum. I was especially interested in making it to the Science and Industry because of the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit they’re hosting. I will also have a special place in my heart for Disney between my love of Disney as a child and from my years living in Orlando. Needless to say, I was excited to go!

I cannot say enough about this museum.  It is incredibly impressive and massive. My only wish is that we would have had more time to explore!  The museum is home to numerous exhibits including a genetics and baby chick hatchery, a science storms exhibit, an exhibit on the art of bicycles, a toy maker where you can watch your very own top be made from start to finish, a farm tech exhibit, and more. I sometimes find that I can get through science museums within a few hours, but I could have easily spent an entire day at this museum. I definitely would like to go back the next time I’m in Chicago.

One other thing that really impressed me is just how innovative and interactive the museum was. I know that more and more science museums are incorporating touch screens and other, more advanced, ways of interacting with science into their exhibits. I was very impressed by how much this museum has done so. Gone are the days of pressing a single button at the science museum. It’s wonderful and inspiring to see first hand how technology is being utilized to help educate young people.

Erin

 

 

 

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Tips for MBA Success

In my last post I mentioned how it’s nearly been a year since I began this program when I started IMS over the summer. I noted how I’ve learned a lot and have gained knowledge and insight into both business and healthcare administration. When I first began the program I really did not know what to expect, IMS was challenging for me and summer was definitely an adjustment period. In thinking about my time at Baylor and how I’ve adjusted and grown as a student, I’ve realized that I’ve learned a few things that would have greatly benefitted me if I knew them before beginning IMS:

 1. It really does get better after IMS, you can survive!

I DID hear this tip at the time, but I didn’t believe it. IMS was very challenging for me at times and I worried about whether or not I had made the right decision in beginning this program. The truth? It does get better, much better and I did, absolutely 100% make the right decision. If you haven’t taken business courses before IMS may very well be challenging, but you CAN make it through!

2.Figure out the best balance of group study and independent study for you.

When I first started business school my impression was that group study was essential for success. As someone who prefers to study indepdently, this worried me. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of group work, team meetings, and team presentations, but studying for everything in a group isn’t as necessary as I thought it would be. I do work with my classmates on projects and ask questions and help others, but I rarely attend group study sessions for quizzes or tests. Why? I simply study better on my own. Finding the right balance of group and indepdent study can make you the most successful you can be in your time as an MBA student.

3. Schedule “me” time.

As an introvert this tends to equate to watching movies at home, reading a book or magazine, and relaxing. For extroverts this could mean going out with friends. My school schedule is far more jam packed than I thought it would be before beginning this program. The truth is that there is a lot of work and there may be days or even weeks when your personal time is short. Scheduling some “me” time can help to make sure you don’t get too stressed.

4. Grades matter, but doing your best matters more.

I care about my grades. Sometimes I think I care too much. College helped me to relax some about grade perfection, but I still care. In my case there is the potential that I may want to go back to school again one day, but it’s also simply in my nature to want to do the best I can for myself. While this is a good thing because it helps me to stay motivated, it can also be discouraging when I get too fixated on my grades.  Today I try to focus much more so on doing the best I can than on obsessing about each grade I earn. As long as I feel as though I have put in as much effort as I could and that I am not disappointed in  that effort, I am happy.

Erin

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End of Second Five Weeks!

Now that Spring Break has ended and we’re back in class for the rest of the semester, I have found myself getting anxious for classes to end.  Although it certainly feels as though the semester is winding down, we still have one five weeks full of classes left to go! This week marks the end of our second five weeks and a second round of testing. Although I didn’t get as much work done over Spring Break as I should have the week off gave me plenty of time to relax to get back into work mode.

I can’t really believe how fast time has gone and in just a few months it will be a year since I began IMS. Coming into this program I had just graduated from college with a Bachelor’s in Biology. I knew very little about business and far less about healthcare administration that I would have imagined. I genuinely feel like I have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge over the last year in a field that I previously may have overlooked. I came to this program for the healthcare component of the MBA, but have learned so much more. At times it’s been rough. I’ve felt overworked, more time crunched than ever, and tired. In some ways I think that’s part of learning. Becoming familiar with something entirely new and immersing yourself in it can definitely be a challenge. I sometimes think back to my first semester of college and the rude awakening I had about how time consuming lab courses were! In the end the hard work pays off though and also tends to remind me not to procrastinate! I know that I will continue to learn more during the next five weeks and during my last semester when I come back to Waco in the spring! In the mean time I am looking forward to all of the experiences and knowledge that I will gain during my residency this coming summer and fall.

Erin

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Rollerblading!

It finally happened. I went rollerblading for the first time today since last April. Last April I got into an accident while skating. A rock jammed my skate and I ended up needing stitches as well as a lot of dental work. Although I have been a little nervous about going skating again, I have missed it a great deal.

When I first moved here I asked about places to skate, but hadn’t visited any paths where I would have felt safe skating. I knew that I would be especially nervous about rocky paths and paths that intersect with roads. Not finding anything nearby, I simply stopped thinking about going skating. Now that it’s gotten warm again, however, I have started to miss skating again. As a result of this I spent some time googling inline skating trails and found one. It’s about 25 minutes away, but to have a good path to skate on is well worth the drive.

Since we had some free time, my boyfriend and I decided to check out the trail today. We walked most of it until I decided I would like to try skating. I was a little nervous at first, but was happy he was there with me.  After a few minutes, the nerves went away and skating felt like it always did…the best thing ever! I am super excited to go skating again and will definitely be trying to make several trips to the trail a week. My boyfriend even decided to buy skates to join me! I am super excited to go skating together. I will have to take a picture to share!

Erin

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Residency Site Update

Last semester I visited Lake Pointe hospital to see if it would be a good fit for my residency. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and decided that the hospital was a great fit for me and that I knew I would get a lot out of the experience. After making this decision, the process of finalizing my spot there began.

During break this week I talked with the hospital’s CEO and my future preceptor about the details of beginning my residency. The main things we discussed were when I would start my residency and about if I needed help finding a place to live.

We both agreed that starting in early June would work.  As of now I should be starting my residency on Monday, June 2nd. I am incredibly excited to get out of the classroom for the semester and get some work experience.

The only downside to beginning my residency will be moving. I just made the long move from Orlando to Waco last summer and now I’ll be moving again! After the residency is over I will also need to move back to Waco for my final semester of classes.  It is nice to know that the hospital is there to help me find a place to live if I need it! I plan on beginning to research places to live soon to make the transition go as easily as possible.

I am definitely getting eager for the time to come!

Erin

 

 

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