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“My primary reason for choosing Curry was convenience. Speaking practically, returning to school needed to be ‘doable’ for me. Curry offers a wide variety of courses at times that are suitable to working parents and that worked for me.”
Debra Casallas '08
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- Michael Rice CE '13 - ACCEL
Michael Rice CE '13 - ACCEL
By the time Michael Rice '13 became a nurse he was already well accustomed to helping and caring for people.
Before enrolling in Curry College's ACCEL Nursing Program, Rice had already spent more than a decade as a paramedic and firefighter.
"It's quite common nowadays for paramedics, both men and women, to get into nursing - it's a natural progression. As a paramedic we're trained in a lot of the same things as nurses, such as how to start IV's and administer medicine. Personally, for me I thought it was about time to further my career."
The decision paid off for Rice, and he is now employed at an eight-bed urgent care center in Weymouth, Mass. called Health Express.
"Urgent care is basically the middle man between going to your primary care physician and going to the hospital," Rice says. "My role there is to get people triaged when they come in, take their vital signs, take their health history, and prepare them to see the doctor. I'll also assist the doctor with tasks such as treating lacerations, or conducting x-rays."
Rice also enjoys the change of pace from working in an ambulance as a paramedic. In those cases, he may see a patient for just a few minutes, while at an urgent care center he has the chance to build deeper connections.
"We do get a lot of repeat customers; people that come in, they like the care that they got so they end up coming back. There are quite a few patients at the urgent care center who I'm on a first name basis with and I know everything about them. It's been nice to have that opportunity to get to know people and see the progression of how their lives are going."
While the transition from paramedic and firefighter to nurse was a natural one for Rice, it was also a bit of a culture shift.
"Firefighting is basically a male-dominated field. There are females that do it, but they're in the minority. And then for me to get into nursing which is still such a female-dominated field it was like I was playing both ends of the spectrum; it was interesting and eye opening. But I do think there are many good opportunities in nursing for men in the future."
Though Rice cites Curry professors Don Anderson and Susan LaRocco as being huge advocates of men in the nursing profession, it didn't factor in his decision to enroll in the ACCEL program.
"It definitely made me feel more comfortable," he says. "There were 6 of us guys out of a class of 35. It was kind of what I expected, but not being the only one made it easier."
Clinical instructors associated with Curry from Boston area hospitals also made a big impression on him, as did the overall format of the program.
"The accelerated program is set up for people who want to advance their career but still need to work or do other things at the same time...Curry's really got it down pat."
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