LASR Project: Abbey Newton ’16, Internship in Medicine

Abbey Newton ’16 is gaining valuable experience in medicine for her LASR project this year. Learn more about Abbey’s experiences at Littleton Regional Hospital and how the project is unfolding for her.
Abbey Newton, a current senior, is working on an independent study for her LASR (Leadership, Service, Arts, Research) project. The LASR program is designed to help students develop curiosity, critical thinking, and communication skills. LASR “encourages students to think about learning not in the traditional way, where the teacher determines the topic, the content, the skills, the scope and sequence. Rather, students think about their own passions and the questions and projects that flow from these passions.” 

Abbey chose to complete her LASR project by taking part in an internship with the Littleton Regional Hospital, where she is shadowing doctors and nurses in different sectors of the hospital. So far, Abbey has had the pleasure of shadowing in obstetrics (OB) and in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Abbey’s internship will give her a better idea as to which profession in the medical field she wants to study. This project is something that Abbey is quite passionate about.
 
During her first five visits to the hospital, she worked in the ICU where she helped move and feed patients. She then worked in maternity. “One woman had colon cancer and was bedridden. I helped her to get up for the first time in two weeks, and this was very rewarding,” Abbey says. Abbey notes that the two different areas have completely different atmospheres. In the ICU, she was used to seeing families being upset and struggling to hold it together during their visits with the family member who was the patient. At OB, Abbey saw a different side of things, where families were excited for the new addition to their family. She has experienced quite a bit thus far!
 
“I was never very good at writing, nor in science classes. Being able to do a hands-on experiment or activity has helped me to learn. Originally, I was going to do research on the medical field, but I felt like the internship was a better way to learn about it, and also take away some memorable experiences,” says Abbey, talking about her inspiration for her project. Abbey shared with me that her grandmother was sick last summer. Abbey spent hours looking after and caring for her. Abbey expressed, “being in this internship has further helped my knowledge in this area.” Having gone through similar medical issues with her family, the internship brings everything full circle.
 
The LASR project is flexible. Students can chose different ways to study what they find interesting. It is that flexibility that Abbey loves about this program. “For me, I get so much more out of the program by doing a hands-on project.
 
Liz Moss is Abbey’s on-campus advisor, and Kathy Flores is Abbey’s off-campus advisor. “Liz is encouraging and always asks how it is going. I report to her if something goes wrong, and she helps me schedule when I can get off campus to go to my internship,” says Abbey. “Kathy is the Director of the Education Department at the hospital, and she has helped organize my time while I am at the hospital so I know which service I am shadowing during each visit.” The next steps for Abbey in this project, are to complete a journal that she writes in each day after she goes to her internship, and to write and present a five-page research paper.
 
Abbey enjoys doing this internship because it plays many roles in boosting her knowledge in a few of her different classes. Specifically, Abbey mentioned that the Wilderness First Responder course, a Forensic Science course, the Murder and Literature class, and the Toxicology class all relate nicely to her work. “I am able to take what I have learned from the internship and apply it to my classes, and I am able to take what I have learned from my classes and apply it to my internship,” says Abbey.
 
In terms of Abbey’s next steps, she plans to use the information she collects to help guide her on a path toward a specific medical field that she might be interested in studying in college. Abbey knows that her LASR project will also help her with her college and job applications and she is excited to continue her studies in medicine.
 
Thank you for sharing your LASR story with us, Abbey.
To read more about the LASR project at WMS, please click here.
To read more LASR program stories, please click here.

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