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Brittanie Mahanna

Clinical Leadership and Management

You were a Student Ambassador for a year at the college; do you miss it? If so, what parts?

I absolutely miss it. My favorite part of being an ambassador was being able to share my favorite parts of the college with incoming students. I miss being able to share the insights I gained over the years with any potential students and helping them navigate all the challenges that college can bring.

What advice would you give to current CHS students that would help them position themselves in competitive career roles?

Gain experience in a variety of different ways; volunteer, work, be a part of student organizations (medical or non-medical focused), do research, gain leadership experience in these areas. You never know what your career focus may be so it's always wise to gain experience in a variety of different areas so that no matter what type of job you chose to pursue after graduation, you have some sort of extracurricular experience that can help you to speak to why you are a great candidate outside of your academic expertise. 

Being an ambassador allowed you to have quite a bit of inter-professional experiences at CHS. How do you feel those experiences have helped you as a student and now as an alumni of the college?

As a student, I think the number one way it helped me was in growing my understanding of the healthcare system as a whole. All of my experiences as a student truly allowed me a holistic view of all the different careers that may be open to me as a future professional just because I was able to see them work together through my experiences as a student. This was priceless to me. 

As an alumni, I was more prepared entering the healthcare workforce to work in an inter-professional team because I had experiences as a student working inter-professionally. I feel that almost all of my coursework was inter-professionally focused and that truly formed my mindset to allow me to think in this way as a professional in a hospital setting. This put me steps ahead of coworkers who viewed inter-professional teamwork as a new concept. 

What types of inter-professional collaborations do you currently have?

In my position as a Patient Advocate my day-to-day tasks were truly inter-professional. I had to manage working alongside floor nurses, nurse managers, department directors, physicians and senior leadership to address patient concerns. This was approximately 85% of my every day tasks. I was also responsible for holding Care Team meetings for patients and their families when the care team and patients/families/loved ones felt there were issues that needed to be resolved during the time of the visit. This also required inter-professional teamwork to ensure all members of the care team were on the same page and could communicate with the family efficiently. In addition, our department housed Patient Experience scores and feedback. We had to disseminate this feedback through all ranks of the hospital. This also required inter-professional teamwork as we created a Patient Experience Task Force consisting of team members from all levels throughout the hospital (housekeeping, dietary, nursing, senior leadership, etc). 

How are you using your education to better Healthcare--specifically in clinical settings?

In my previous position as a Patient Advocate my education came into play heavily to better healthcare specifically at the patient level. The education I received on management helped me to better be able to interact with other members of our healthcare team, despite me possibly being a "lower" team member (i.e. me interacting with a Director or Senior Leader).

I am currently back in school working on my PhD in Counseling Psychology. My educational background in healthcare helps me every day to be able to better conceptualize the psychological problems and theories that I am presented with. My ultimate goal is to be able to marry my background in healthcare and my future education in psychology to serve individuals in a private clinical setting in a truly inter-professionally way; helping patients get the help they need medically, psychologically, socially, etc. 

What was the best part of being a Student Ambassador? What was the most difficult part?

The best part of being a Student Ambassador was being able to represent my College. I felt a lot of pride in doing this because I truly felt that the College of Health Science was doing amazing things for it's students. It is a great place for students to prepare to enter the healthcare industry. 

The most difficult part was balancing wanting to be involved in every event the Ambassadors held, but also knowing that you had other priorities as a student. For instance, my favorite events were SeeBlue preview nights. If my schedule allowed I would have attended every single one, as I loved connecting with prospective students, but we all know college students’ schedules are too crazy for that. 

Your degree is in Clinical Leadership & Management. How would you explain your discipline to an incoming student?

Clinical Leadership and Management is a truly interdisciplinary approach to Healthcare Administration. It gives a holistic view of the healthcare system, management and leadership styles and tactics, and prepares you for a variety of careers and paths for working and advancing in the healthcare industry. It is broad, but yet also very preparatory for what you will face when working in any healthcare setting. That is one of the main things I appreciated about this degree; all of my coursework was so applicable to real life.

Where are you now? What are you doing?

I graduated with my CLM degree in May of 2017 along with a Minor from the college in Health Advocacy. I then immediately began working as a Patient Advocate at Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown, KY for about a year and a half.

I am now in Gainesville, FL at the University of Florida pursuing my PhD in Counseling Psychology. 

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