Allison O'Deen

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Allison O'Deen
Degree:
Health and Human Physiology (Health Promotion) B.A.
Year:
2015

Beginning in June, I will be working as a Cardiac Rehab Specialist II at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) Heart and Vascular Center CHAMPS (Cardiovascular Health, Assessment, Management and Prevention Services) outpatient clinic at Iowa River Landing.  I completed my undergraduate BA degree in Health and Human Physiology (HHP) in the Health Promotion track in 2015 and went on to obtain my Master’s Degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology (CEP) in 2017.  As a UI undergrad and during my first year of graduate school, I also competed as a scholarship athlete on the UI volleyball team. Balancing these academic and athletic demands taught me so much about effective time management. In addition, I gained invaluable insights into the value of teamwork and communication, making the transition to my chosen health care career far more seamless.  Beyond these commitments, I also served as a part-time Teaching Assistant for an HHP course and a part-time Research Assistant in the Translational Vascular Physiology Lab of HHP Professor Gary Pierce.

My interest in the CEP program was first piqued when I took the Metabolic Exercise Testing and Prescription course as an undergrad.  We learned about and practiced performing various stress tests on our classmates.  After that, I met with the cardiac rehab supervisor at the UIHC to learn more about that profession and felt that it could be the right fit for me. Subsequently, through my clinical internships in the inpatient and outpatient cardiac rehab programs as well as the pulmonary rehab service at the University Hospitals, I found great satisfaction and joy in working directly with patients and helping them lead a healthier life.

My advice to other students would be to take every opportunity to get hands-on experience in whatever field of endeavor you choose. Internships, job shadowing, or volunteering can teach you so much and make you far more confident in your skill set prior to graduating and taking the next step to the “real world.” These experiences solidified for me that I was on the right career path and very happy with my decision to join the CEP program. I am looking forward to getting started with my new job in June!