By Sydney Callis
Leader’s Training Course
Within the confines of Fort Knox’s Ireland Army Community Hospital, Leader’s Training Course Cadets are given a behind the scenes, informative tour of the different units comprising the hospital.
“I wanted to go on the tour to get a feel of how Army hospitals, how they work, how nurses interact with their patients on the floor and the dynamic between Army and the medical field,” said Foxtrot Company Cadet Kiara Nix, who attends Winston Salem State University.
Capt. Monique Jesionowski, a brigade nurse counselor who has taken Cadets either majoring in nursing or considering majoring in the medical field on hospital tours this summer, said the four-hour tour can be an informative and eye-opening experience.
“The tour gives insight into the Army medical department and the different fields that they have,” Jesionowski said. “The Cadets get a lot of information. The best part about it is just getting to talk to actual military officers who can share their experiences.”
For Cadets interested in pursuing a nursing career in the Army, the hospital tour provides many opportunities to interact with nurses of various specialties to see what Cadets might want to do in the future.
Foxtrot Company Cadet Marcus Rivers, a nursing major at Florida A&M University, said the hospital tour helped him figure out which specialty he would like to pursue.
“Initially, I wanted to be a nursing anesthetist,” Rivers said. “I had the opportunity to speak with a captain who is a nursing anesthetist, and I decided I don’t want to be one anymore. I’m looking at pediatrics now.”
Being able to talk with someone in the two fields helped Rivers because he was able to see the work and schooling required to be in those specialties.
“After I heard how much time you have to put into school to become a nursing anesthetist, I realized I wanted to do it for the wrong reasons, and I wasn’t really passionate about it,” Rivers said. “I gained interest in pediatrics at first from my grandmother, who’s a pediatric nurse.”
The tour is primarily designed for nursing majors, but students pursuing degrees in medical fields are also able to attend.
“There are quite a few here who are pursuing other degrees and just trying to see more about medicine, what area they want to go into and see how they can do those same jobs in the military,” Jesionowski said.
Jesionowski went on a tour of Walter Reed hospital during her years in ROTC, which she said helped her make the decision about what she wanted to do.
“In the beginning, as a nursing student in ROTC, you’re learning battle drills,” Jesionowski said. “It was like, ‘What am I going to do? Everyone says I’m going to be in a hospital, but am I really going to be in a hospital?’ The tour is great because it gives early insight into what you’re going to do.”