Jasmine De Mange has seen healthcare from all angles—first she started work in healthcare administration as a patient service specialist in a Cardiology department, next she started a nursing assistant program, and now she’s in a research-based master’s program.
Up next, med school.
Her attraction to healthcare started young and one of her earliest memories at five years of age, her parents gave her a Fisher-Price® doctor bag and she would perform procedures on her stuffed animals.
Years later, as a sophomore at Cal State Channel Islands, she did an internship through the Health Scholar program.
“We had several rotations throughout different parts of the hospital and would assist hospital staff with basic patient-care tasks. My most vivid memory was from my ED rotation; a patient came in with a collapsed lung, and I was in awe of how seamlessly the emergency medical team worked together to stabilize the patient. The ability to act quickly and communicate concisely with each other during such a high stress situation was inspiring,” she said.
After graduating with a degree in Biology, she moved to Seattle, Washington where she worked at the University of Washington Medical Center as a patient service specialist. There she was part of the Structural Heart team within the Cardiology Department.
While there, she learned about the transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure which, according to the American Heart Association, is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that repairs the valve without removing the old, damaged valve. Instead, it wedges a replacement valve into the aortic valve’s place.
“It was really fascinating, the overall experience confirmed for me that I wanted a career in healthcare, and it made me think about what it would be like through a research perspective. Ultimately, I knew I wanted to go back to school but I couldn’t decide between med school, nursing school, or to do a master’s or Ph.D.”
After consulting with her mom who is a nursing assistant, she decided to enroll in a nursing assistant program.
“It was a simple certificate but I feel like at this point I’ve had a taste in the administration side of healthcare, a glimpse into the research, and the hands-on experience as a certified nursing assistant.”
She then joined Providence Hospital in Everett, Washington where she started to work in the Close Observation Unit.
“Most patients there were suffering from either mental illness or Alzheimer’s, struggling with drug addiction, and on occasion we would get patients who were incarcerated. This patient population was challenging because behavior and mood was unpredictable. The hospital staff I trained under and worked with were phenomenal. I learned how to adapt and react quickly in sometimes intense situations.”
In the midst of getting the job at Providence Hospital, she had also been applying to schools. She was attracted to our Master in Science of Cell Systems and Anatomy because she wanted the ability to conduct research.
“It’s a two-year program so it’s not too long and I liked that the subject was anatomy especially because in the health care field, anatomy will always be useful. I also love that UT Health San Antonio is home to various professional schools, so I get to be surrounded by so many health professions.”
“Proprioceptors help us with proprioception. A good example of proprioception is when we are driving, our eyes are on the road while our hands are steering, and our feet are working the pedals. Proprioception helps us make precise coordinated movements without having to look at our limbs.”
Specifically, she is looking for proprioceptors in the Orbicularis Oculi, the muscle around the eye. Finding proprioceptors within this muscle could be clinically significant to plastic surgeons, or patients with Bell’s Palsy, or patients with facial injuries.
“Recent studies have identified novel proprioceptors as well as classical proprioceptors within certain muscles of the face,” she said. “I think there needs to be a better understanding of what receptors provide facial proprioception, as well as where these receptors located.”
After the program, she would still like to pursue a career in medicine, and she plans to apply to medical schools around the nation.
“If I get the opportunity to go to medical school, I would take it.”
This article was written by Charlotte Anthony, marketing specialist at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UT Health San Antonio. This article is part of the “Meet The Researcher” series which showcases researchers at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio.