When Justin Gasser was in middle school, he was already special. He was bright. He did well in school. He had plenty of friends. While all that is nice, it isn’t entirely special.
However, Justin also had something else. He had a rare heart condition. In fact, he was one of only five cases in the entire US that year and had to be admitted to the intensive care unit.
“I had a lot of doctors around me,” explained Gasser, “but one older, male nurse helped calm the situations when the doctors weren’t worried about bedside manner and focused on my rare condition.”
It was at this time Gasser says he decided he wanted to be a nurse.
“I wanted to be that person for someone else,” said Justin.
As a senior in the Health Sciences Program at Harrison ATC, Gasser is well on his way to making that dream a reality. He is presently completing his Practicum and is getting on-the-job experience in real work settings.
Gasser is presently assisting EMT’s at Brown’s Ambulance Service. He rides along on actual emergency calls and provides assistance when needed.
“It’s pretty exciting when the lights are on, and you’re rushing through town,” said Gasser. “You would think it would be hectic, but the EMTs make it calm.”
Gasser also feels this experience will help him prepare for his future career plans.
“What I want to do is work in surgery or ICU,” explained Gasser, “This experience will help me be prepared for the trauma aspect of working there.”
In order to receive this on-the-job experience, Gasser has had to complete several courses in the Health Sciences Program. He has taken and passed the state Registered Nursing Assistant Exam.
After completing his rotation with Brown’s, he will be placed in several health care settings that could include hospitals, vet clinics, doctor’s offices, Hospice sites and physical therapy facilities.
After high school, Gasser will also have a head start on his college education. He will have several credits from Maysville Community College’s dual credit agreement with the ATC. He will likely be able to graduate early, saving him time and money.
It seems inevitable that someday a young man will be telling the story of how Nurse Gasser helped him feel like everything would be okay when no one else was really sure.