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MHS students explore nursing, pediatrics careers


MHS freshman Javarion Thompson enjoys an infant care activity at Marshalltown Community College.

Several Marshalltown High School students took a trip down Center Street Thursday to learn about infant care, pediatrics and more from  the staff and students of Marshalltown Community College’s excellent nursing program. 

The day consisted of a panel discussion from medical experts and educational activities in fields like pediatrics and OB/GYN. The event was part of the Iowa Valley Intermediary Program Career Discovery Series. 

 “Today, there has been a lot of education in different areas and hands-on activities,” said MHS school counselor Rebecca Whalen. 

Specifically, activities included education on the process of delivering a baby, postpartum care, child car seat safety, and much more. 

MHS sophomore Moses Towah said he learned how important the metric system is to nurses, nurse practitioners, midwives and others in infant care fields. 

“I learned how babies function, all the processes and things like that,” Moses said. 

Fellow sophomores Taylor Jones, Cassidy Wedemeyer and Emma Kuhlers said they enjoyed Thursday’s trip to MCC. 

“I know I want to be in the medical field. This has helped me learn about the pediatric part,” Emma said. 

Taylor said she is interested in the field of pediatrics and that she enjoyed the hands-on activities. 

“I learned a lot of things about the NICU and what a nurse practitioner is compared to a doctor,” Cassidy said. “It is definitely a field that I’m interested in.” 


MHS sophomores Taylor Jones (left), Emma Kuhlers (second from left) and Cassidy Wedemeyer (center) learn about infant car seat safety.

Many MCC students are graduates of Marshalltown High School, including several nursing students. They were able to give advice to the younger Bobcats during Thursday’s event. 

“My whole life growing up, I thought I was going to be a veterinarian. Everything changes, you think you’re going to go into one field and you may realize it’s not for you at all,” said MCC nursing student and MHS 2014 graduate McKenna Banes. 

She said she graduated high school with one year of college done. She completed an associate’s degree at MCC in a separate field; she then went to Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) to earn an associate’s degree in mortuary science before finding her way back to Marshalltown. 

“I really realized I wanted to be taking care of patients,” Banes said. 

MHS 2013 graduate Janet Fonseca also took a non-traditional path to MCC’s nursing program after graduating high school. She went straight to Iowa State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology. She entered the workforce, but decided she had a passion for nursing. 

“I felt like I needed something that was more patient- and health care focused, and this program here at MCC, that’s what it’s doing,” Fonseca said. 

She said her advice to high schoolers is to look at several post-secondary education options, not solely a four-year degree. 

Vanessa Vergara, a 2017 MHS graduate, said her interest in the medical field started with the high school’s Project Lead the Way (PLTW) biomedical sciences course. She also took human growth and development while in high school, increasing her interest in nursing.