Susan Strawhacker

Major: Kinesiology and Health
Minor/option/emphasis: KIN-Exercise Science
Company/Organization: Mercy Medical Center Cardiac & Pulmonary Rehab
Destination: Des Moines
Timeframe: Spring
Advisor/Coordinator Email:


I experienced cardiac rehabilitation phase 1, 2, and 3 programs in depth in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Every day I would monitor the blood pressure, heartrate, exertion, and safety of exercising participants before, during, and after exercise. I also got to experience every component that goes into a cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation program and even procedures that take place before they are admitted. I got to sit in on cath lab procedures, stress tests, dietitian appointments, and patient orientations. Seeing not only what a patient does in the program, but the steps that happen beforehand is very beneficial.


I got real life experience that was completely necessary for me since I want to work in this field. I feel much more ready for my future career. I have also sharpened many of my skills and knowledge from this experience. It's nice to take the things you learn in the classroom and apply them in a real-life situation.

What advice would you give?

Apply for your internships early! Your final internship is a very important experience so be sure not to put it off.

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