The Busy Life of the Health Professions Student

By Ashley Lenzner, Unit Secretary, Vanderbilt Bedford Hospital

After graduating from high school in rural North Carolina, Ashley Lenzner was ready for something new and different. The daughter of a police officer, she went away to college to study criminal justice. Not long into her studies, her mother became ill, and Ashley returned home to help care for her.

Once her mother recovered, Ashley decided she would not return to school. She was looking for adventure and found it in the United States (US) Navy, serving six years on active duty and two in the reserve. During that time, she found herself in such faraway places as Africa, Greece, Spain, and Russia, to name a few. “It really gave me an appreciation for America,” she says. “Seeing how other people live and suffer made me appreciate how good we have it here in the US”

During that time, Ashley also met her husband, a fellow sailor. When it came time for her to leave the Navy, she had some decisions to make. She was then the mother of three beautiful girls. As she considered a civilian career, she became more certain that a career in healthcare was what she wanted. Ashley has worked in long-term care, assisted living, retirement living, and currently is working in the Emergency Department as a unit secretary. Ashley has now earned her Associate Degree in General Science, Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration, and is now working toward a degree to become a registered nurse. Ashley’s end goal with her schooling is to one day become a director of either a long-term care facility or an Emergency Department.

Ashley states “being a full-time wife, mom, and student is a constant juggle and comes with a lot of stress. I cherish the time I have at home with my family, and I make sure to spend as much of that time with them and not on schoolwork. The ReadAnywhere® App helps give me the time I need with my family. I can easily access the app on my phone or iPad to do my homework, review for my class quizzes, and even take notes while at work, on my lunch break. If I have schoolwork that needs to be done at home, I use the time my kids are doing their homework to do mine. If they see mom can do homework and study, then so can they. They love that extra time sitting down with them doing the same things!”

Ashley often uses McGraw Hill Connect® to have access to her classes while not at home on her computer. It comes in handy while she is at work in the ER when she likes to reference things she has learned in class. It has been worthwhile having Connect on her phone for easy access and to have the ability to use the adaptive learning at the touch of a finger. Ashley manages her multiple tasks by keeping a day planner, keeping up with her grades on her phone, and making sure she sets aside time just for school. This is one thing Ashley highly recommends while taking classes “once you fall behind, it’s hard to catch up!”

“If I had any advice for teachers: I would recommend teaching from the books so that students can easily reference back to the things they’ve learned and lots of hands-on activities!”