Medical Passion Drives Allied Health Student

Published: Apr 15, 2010
On any given shift, Phil Michaels ’10 might see a hundred different things in the emergency room at Brandon Regional Hospital.

From blood splatter to machines screeching to life being breathed back into a patient, Michaels has to be prepared for everything.

“You have to focus on what you’re doing and desensitize yourself to your surroundings,” said Michaels, who is majoring in allied health and pre-medicine.

While going to school full-time, Michaels has spent the last year working at the hospital as a scribe, performing the primary secretarial and non-medical functions of the emergency physician he is assigned to.

“They call us the Verizon network because we follow them around,” Michaels said. “We take all the notes and history. We keep the doctors organized.”

Scribes must pass a one-month extensive classroom training program before being assigned to 12-hour shifts under the supervising physicians.

“Although the long hours put into training and studying seems rigorous, the knowledge gained from this job experience is a reward in itself,” said Alana Sosa, the Scribe America manager at Brandon Regional Hospital.

“The Scribe program at Brandon Regional expedites the patient flow through the emergency department,” Sosa said. “Not only do we help emergency department physicians with medical documentation, will also help physicians see more patients per hour while relieving the work load.”

Michaels loves the ER. He loves the constant motion, the fluid and ever-changing nature of illnesses and injuries that revolve through the hospital doors. It fits his personality, he says.

“I love learning. I’m an information junkie,” Michaels said. “I love the challenge of new things.”

Michaels has always wanted to work in the medical field. He was fascinated by the intricacies of the human body, such as the body’s physiological response to emotions. While at UT he narrowed his focus and was introduced to the scribe program by one of his professors, Dr. Jen Wortham.

“Not only are you surrounding yourself with physicians and top medical professionals, but you’re learning from them like a sponge,” Michaels said of the scribe program.

With hundreds of hours of hands-on experience under his belt from being a scribe, Michaels is on track to graduate in May and go on to physician assistant school soon after. To help those with the same interests as he, this semester Michaels organized the Pre-Physician Assistant Club.

The group meets on the first and third Thursdays of the month at 9 p.m. in the John H. Sykes College of Business, Room 134. For more information, contact Michaels at (813) 373-2995 or pmichaels@ut.edu.


Jamie Pilarczyk, Web Writer
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