Spencer Simpson almost didn't apply. As she stared at the Summer III posting from Mayo Clinic she'd found online, she wasn't sure she'd have a chance. "I really thought it was a long shot, but I thought I might as well put myself out there and at least try,” she says in a profile piece by Illinois State University, where Spencer is a senior nursing student.
After submitting her resume and two written essays, Spencer tells us, she began waiting for a rejection email. When the opposite happened, she needed additional confirmation to believe it was real. "When I got my acceptance email from Mayo, I yelled for my roommate to come into my room because I couldn't believe it," she says. "She read it, too, and said, 'Yes, that really does say that you got in.' I was so excited."
That excitement, Spencer says, carried over to her first day on the job in Mayo's colorectal/general surgical unit, and lasted throughout the full 10 weeks of her experience. “In the mornings we would look up our patients, classify their acuity level, and perform our morning assessments,” she tells Illinois State University. Spencer's daily nursing duties also included "direct patient care, interprofessional care-team rounding, discharge planning," and contributions to each patient’s "plan of care." It was a unique, real-life learning environment that Spencer says could not have been replicated elsewhere. "During our clinicals in school, we got that kind of thing once, maybe twice, a week," she says. "At Mayo, it was five days a week for 10 weeks. Being immersed in a hospital setting for that long was unbelievable."
It also helped Spencer see exactly how Mayo's Model of Care and primary value are applied to all patients, regardless of situation. "My most memorable patient was this man who had been hospitalized for a while," she tells us. "He wasn't exactly always nice to us but … he had his moments, and it was touching for me to see that we all still gave him the best care we could and the same level of care that Mayo gives to everyone. That helped me further realize that every patient, regardless of situation or circumstance, deserves the best care possible."
That was a lesson Spencer was planning to take with her to wherever she ended up working after graduation this spring. But then the nurse manager on her unit offered her the opportunity to return to Mayo. "She brought me in one day and said, 'We have an opportunity to hire you right now instead of waiting until you're done with school. What are your thoughts?'" she says. Spencer didn't hesitate. "I never even thought of saying 'No,'" she says. "Mayo's an incredible place. Everyone's so supportive, and I just can't believe that I'm being given a chance to work there full-time. I keep counting down the days."
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