Jess is a Miami Dolphins cheerleader with a degree in Family and Child Science and a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing! Find out how Jess uses her skills on and off the field to inspire her teammates and her patients!
What turned you on to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and when? My father and my grandma are the ones who turned me on to STEM. My dad is an engineer, and growing up he helped me with all my science projects and even math homework. He always stayed up late at night with me trying to draw or to figure out an equation. He was one of my biggest influencers in grade school. On the other hand, my grandma, who is a registered nurse, helped guide me through college in all my nursing courses. She was my biggest supporter and one of the reasons why I went into the field of nursing.
Why did you try out to be a cheerleader? Being a Miami Dolphins Cheerleader was never in my career path. I like to think I have the best of both worlds. It truly is a blessing being able to do two things you love weekly. I tried out to be a Miami Dolphins Cheerleader because one of my nursing colleagues told me about auditions and thought I would be an asset to the team. Growing up I danced, so I used those abilities to get me through auditions. I just took a leap of faith that day and am so thankful I made it all the way through!
What is a typical day on the job like for you? I am a night shift nurse. I work on a general medical floor where we see all types of people. I mainly see the elderly and those whose conditions are severe. My general flow of work is from 7 p.m.-7:30 a.m. My night consists of passing out medicines that have been ordered and making sure everyone is pain free and able to sleep peacefully. Each patient has a different order, some are more severe than others. The tools I typically use help me monitor blood pressure, blood sugar, temperature, and oxygen. I spend most of my time in different patient rooms or at the nurses’ stations charting and evaluating my patients. The goal of my work is to make sure everyone is as comfortable as possible and to allow their hospital visit to be as short as possible. Each night we want to see progress, we want everyone to get better so they can go home and be with their loved ones.
What does it mean for you to be practicing in STEM? It means a lot for me to be practicing STEM. I love helping people and giving back to my community. I always knew I wanted to do something in the medical field. My role is to help those who are in medical need. I hope that one day we can find a cure to the many diseases that are affecting our world today. I help people, not wanting anything in return; that’s when you know you have a passion for something.
How do the qualities that make you a great cheerleader benefit you as a nurse? Being able to greet people and converse has helped me in my career of choice. Every night I’m at work, I’m always smiling and showing everyone the upmost respect. My cheerleading career has helped me so much in becoming a more open and sociable person.
Best cheerleading experience? My best cheerleading experience was my military tour to Egypt. I was able to dress up in a dog suit and get chased by a K9. The adrenaline rush was everything!
Best health-related experience? My best health-related experience was working in the ER and reviving someone who was in cardiac arrest back to life.
What advice would you give your 12-year-old self? The best advice I would give my 12-year old self is not to rush life. Have fun while you can, because once you become an adult life hits you fast!
What’s one thing people might find especially surprising about you? I think one thing people find surprising about me is that I hope to be a trauma nurse one day. I really want to help those who are in dire need. Being a trauma nurse takes a lot of mental preparation, and I’m ready to tackle it. “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough!”