Career Connections

Brianna Schwake

Major: Kinesiology and Health

Company/Organization: Mercy Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation
Company/Organization website:
Title: Cardiac Rehab Intern
Destination: Downtown Des Moines
Timeframe: Spring 2017

Advisor/Coordinator Email:

I was responsible for...
In Phase I, I would go into patients rooms, take their vitals (blood pressure and oxygen sats) and go for walks down the hall with them to get their exercise. You make sure that they have no shortness of breath, dizziness, or chest pain. After the walk you chart on that patient and how far they went. In Phase II, I lead warm-ups at least once a day, took blood pressures before, during, and after exercise and looked at their heart rhythms after they exercised to make sure their heart rhythms weren't too crazy with arrhythmias.

I accomplished...
Definitely the relationships you build with the workers and the patients. The patients know that you're an intern and are very patient with you as you get the hang of things. I had a patients tell me that I made their day, that they trusted me just as much as anyone there, and that I helped save their life. When I went to Phase I and returned to Phase II, patients that I had were excited to see me and to let me know what was new in the time that had passed. It's very rewarding and you think that you made a difference when they tell you these things!

I learned...
I learned not to take your heath for granted! There were many patients of all ages going through cardiac or pulmonary rehab! Some with no family history at all and others in tip top shape that had family history. It is amazing how serious family history is in your health.

Advice for others...
Pay attention in Kin 458! You use a lot of this information. Make sure you know how to take blood pressures- you take many a day! Try and take the EKG class if you can, it would have helped me a lot! The staff is wonderful in helping you out though!

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