Some 15 years ago, Jennifer Marshall accompanied her 9-year-old nephew to Akron Children’s emergency room where he received sutures for a laceration on his arm. That experience made a lasting impression on Jennifer, who recently joined our suture team in the ER.
“I never thought about being a nurse before,” said Jennifer. “But as I was holding my nephew’s arm to help him stay still, the suture nurse/tech said, ‘You know, not everyone can watch this – you should become a nurse and come join us.’”
At the time, Jennifer was working as a medical transcriptionist at a local hospital. She then went on to work as a physician’s secretary at a local orthopedic office. Still remembering the words of encouragement she received in the Akron Children’s ER, she decided to enroll in nursing school at Stark State College at the age of 40.
“I remember on my first or second day of nursing school, they went around the room and asked where each of us saw ourselves after school. I said a couple areas that I liked, but that I would ultimately like to suture. I was told I would probably have to go into the OR if I wanted to suture, and that I would likely never get a job in suture without learning there first,” she said. “I had an amazing clinical at Akron Children’s and fell in love with the teamwork that I witnessed. Everyone was working together to do everything they could for the child.”
Jennifer went on to get her associate degree in nursing and became a plastic surgery nurse, where she developed a love for wound care. However, she still had a passion to suture one day, so she decided to ask for a shadow experience with the suture team at Akron Children’s. She absolutely loved her shadow experience and joined the Akron Children’s suture team in February 2023.
“There’s a different feeling here. I get excited about coming to work and wondering who we will help today,” she said.
Jennifer is in the midst of completing her orientation, gaining proficiency in her suture skills. She appreciates Jason Clancy, coordinator of the suture program, who has helped her work on specific areas where she wants to improve as she grows in her new role.
As she continues to advance in her nursing career at Akron Children’s, Jennifer wants to pursue a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing, as well as wound care certification. She also welcomes the opportunity to cross-train in the Akron Children’s burn unit where she can continue to expand her wound care skills.
She emphasizes the importance of shadowing for others who are interested in a nursing career at Akron Children’s.
“Come shadow, especially if you are scared or unsure,” she said. “Spending just a few hours here will help you see where you fit in, and help you make the leap.”