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UMFK nursing student to intern at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota

February 28, 2003


Sarrah Morris, from Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland, a junior nursing student at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, was recently extended an offer for a position in the Summer III program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Summer III is a learning experience in which nursing students participate in direct and indirect patient care at the Mayo Clinic. Morris will be working in the department of nursing in a ten-week program, which officially begins in June and will be completed in August 2003.

Morris, who has senior status in the overall university program, applied for the position in the beginning of December, following up with more paperwork later that month. Letters of recommendation from Lisa Theriault, assistant professor of nursing and Diane Griffin, instructor of nursing at UMFK were mailed to the Mayo Clinic in early January.

The letter of acceptance from the Clinic was mailed to her parent's home in Newfoundland. Morris, who is living in Clair, New Brunswick received a call from her Mom who was so pleased about the letter that she was just screaming with excitement. Morris said her Dad had to come to the phone to give her the message.

Although the letter was mailed on January 27, it didn't arrive at her parent's home until February 10. Her parents faxed the paperwork to Morris and she completed all the forms, and sent them back to the clinic by the February 14 deadline.

"I really wasn't expecting to be selected from the more than 800 applicants from schools across the nation," said Morris. "When I called my professors, I wasn't anticipating everyone would be as excited as they were. Everyone was so happy for me."

Each summer, only 160 students from throughout the United States take part in Summer III at Mayo Clinic.

"I am grateful and honored for the opportunity to be able to work and study at such a prestigious and world renown institution," said Morris. "It will certainly add to my career in nursing."

During the program, the students have an opportunity to enhance their nursing skills while working under the direction of skilled nursing professionals.

In order to be eligible for this position, Morris had to successfully pass the employee health history, immunization requirements, the Minnesota Department of Health Background Study and go through a verification of credentials.

Morris was also required to be certified in Basic Life Support at the Healthcare Provider Level from the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association.

When Morris begins her duties as a Summer III nursing student, she will be assigned to one of a variety of areas at the Mayo Clinic Rochester, which include patient care units, operating room/recovery area or the cardiac cath lab, inpatient units, outpatient urgent care settings, employee health services and the general clinical research center at Rochester Methodist Hospital or Saint Mary's Hospital.

Upon arrival she will attend a welcome program, which includes meeting the staff members she will be working with and tour the work area. She will undergo a two-week orientation with a combination of classroom and clinical experience and will be assigned a preceptor.

The Summer III program not only offers an educational work experience, it also provides an opportunity to live, socialize and have fun with other nursing students from around the country.

Morris will receive a salary for her work during the Summer III program, liability and workers' compensation insurance coverage. Housing will be provided through subsidized housing, where she will share a four bedroom apartment with four other participants in the program.

As part of the program, Morris will have access to an assigned E-mail account for both job-related and personal use, participation in Mayo Clinic-sponsored recreational programs, discount tickets to local and regional special events, and membership to the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center in the St. Mary's Center, a state-of-the-art fitness environment with professional trainers, where a variety of classes and services focus on wellness and exercise are available five days a week.

Mayo Clinic, Saint Mary's Hospital and Rochester Methodist Hospital together form an integrated medical center dedicated to providing comprehensive diagnosis and treatment in virtually every medical and surgical specialty.

In 2001 they served 315,671 unique patients and 1.21 million outpatients. The Mayo Clinic occupies approximately thirteen million square feet, about 2.5 times the size of the Mall of America.

The Mayo Clinic also has locations in Jacksonville, Florida and Scottsdale, Arizona, and the Mayo Health System has locations in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.

The three facilities employ 1,544 staff physicians and scientists. The also have residents, fellows and pre-doctoral students that number 2,451 and an allied health staff (clinic and hospital) of 22,214, giving them a total staff of 26,209.

The five leading sources of funding for research in 2001 at the Mayo Clinic, where 192 surgical procedures, 31,369 lab tests and 13,942 blood tests are performed on a daily basis, were the National Cancer Institute; Commercial Enterprises; the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; and the Department of Defense.

Saint Mary's Hospital has 1,157 beds available with annual admissions of approximately 40,000. They have 59 operating rooms with over 28,000 surgical cases per year.

Six buildings comprise the St. Mary's Hospital including the Mayo Eugenio Litta Children's Hospital, an 85-bed hospital within Saint Mary's Hospital and the Mayo Clinic Psychiatry and Psychology Treatment Center in the Generose Building.

Rochester Methodist Hospital has 794 beds available and admits 17,000 patients per year. Forty operating rooms handle the more than 20,000 surgical cases per year.

Morris has already booked her plane tickets and will be leaving for Rochester, Minnesota from Newfoundland at the end of May and will return the middle of August. She will graduate from UMFK in May of 2004.