Abby Benson

Major: Kinesiology and Health
Minor/option/emphasis: Exercise Science
Company/Organization: MercyOne Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation
Destination: Des Moines, Iowa
Timeframe: Spring 2023
Advisor/Coordinator Email: dpower


During my internship my overall job was to help monitor patients who have heart and lung diseases while they exercised. Some of the key responsibilities included, obtaining vitals such as heart rate, oxygen saturation, resting, and exercising blood pressures. Once patients were done exercising another responsibility I had was to interpret and chart the patients EKG strips to determine if they had any abnormal rhythms while they were exercising. Lastly, I was responsible helping teach education to the patients on a new topic each week. These topics were centered around exercise, nutrition, medications, heart procedures, cardiac risk factors, and mental/ physical health.


My biggest accomplishment in this internship was building confidence in myself. At first, I doubted my ability or if I was qualified enough to be helping these patients. As the weeks went by, I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone, and accepted any new responsibilities that came my way. I saw each task as a way I could grow and become better at the job. I soaked in as much information as I could every single day and this helped me gain confidence in what I was doing, especially talking with the patients.

Learning experience

The biggest lesson I learned from this internship was how important it is to build good relationships with the patients. I saw most of these patients 2-3 times a week for months and learned a lot of personal details about them and their stories of their health journey. Getting close with patients and showing that you truly care makes the job so much more rewarding and meaningful. Most of these patients appreciate having a kind and familiar face to talk to, as this recovery process from previous health issues can be a scary time. It’s a great feeling watching patients that you’ve connected with make progress in here and be a part of the reason it was a positive experience for them.

What advice would you give?

The advice I would give to those students who will soon be in an internship themselves is to say yes to uncomfortable situations. If you’re too scared to do something challenging, you’ll never know what to do or how to handle the situation when it comes for you to do it yourself. It’s not a matter of if you will encounter challenging situations, it’s a matter of when you will. You want to be prepared and learn from previous experiences and mistakes.

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