SU’s Fred Reed selected to discuss Mayo Clinic experience

Being part of a team that helped patients recover considerable physical skills after suffering strokes has been an experience that Southern University’s Fred Reed said he won’t ever forget.


The senior nursing student was one of a group of students selected to participate this summer in the Summer III’s program at the famous Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.  Reed participated in the cardiovascular surgery progressive care unit.


The most reward experience, he said, was seeing a stroke patient unable to walk, swallow or eat, and then being able to see the patient relearn each of these things. Reed even helped the patient to take his first steps, a moment he will always remember.


Reed was selected for the program from an applicant pool of more than 900. The acceptance rate, a mere 12 percent, indicates how competitive and highly sought after the program has become. Amongst the Summer IIIs, 63 colleges and universities and 31 states were represented.


“Mayo Clinic was always something I saw on the news. I dreamed of working here, but I never imagined it happening,” said Reed. “It’s an honor to be here. I would never take it for granted.”

Reed has had the opportunity to work with a variety of patients with a number of different health situations.


The Summer III Program allows participants to get the experience they want and need for their future.  “It’s one thing to see a question on an exam about medications, but it’s another thing to actually see and learn about the medications,” said Reed.


He recalled an experience when his clinical coach, Jennifer M. Pagel, RN, took him through the critical process of giving medication to a patient with an irregular heartbeat. Having come into the program very shy, Reed credits a newfound confidence to experiences like this at Mayo Clinic.


Pagel, Reed’s coach, said the most rewarding part about being in her position is seeing Reed progress. “He’s changed from following me to being the leader and saying ‘This is what I think we should do,’” said Pagel, a first-time clinical coach.



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