Healthcare Professionals Offer Key Insights and Career Advice

November 10 2017
Category: Alumni

A young, special-needs patient is rushed to the emergency room.

Not far behind was EC alumna Deann Perkowski '17. She looked after the child at her daycare business and kept a detailed timeline of his condition. After he was stable, the doctors and nurses shared that Deann's diligence gave him a fighting chance.

“That’s when I knew I wanted to be a nurse,” said Deann, now a registered nurse at Thompson Hospital in Canandaigua, New York.

Julie Fielding, director of Career Services, with Sarah Lynch, Roger Lathrop, and Deann Perkowski. 

Deann, along with Roger Lathrop M.S.’11, senior director for internal audit and compliance at Guthrie, and Sarah Lynch, director, skills education & clinical assistant professor, pharmacy practice at Binghamton University, recently participated on a healthcare professionals panel, hosted by the Office of Career Services

The panel, offered as part of the national Health Professions Week 2017, provided a look into the various careers found within the health industry. Each panelist shared their unique career story, educational experiences, and advice for future pharmacists, nurses, and healthcare administrators.

Here is just a sampling of their insights:

“Be flexible, adaptable, and open to different opportunities. Ask your potential employers, ‘where do you need me?’ Before requesting where you want to be.” – Deann

“Don’t put the work aside. Do the tough research and tough projects. Don’t just write a paper on something you already know about. Always be learning.” – Roger 

“While some healthcare systems or pharmacies may refer to patients as customers, no matter what, they are people who need your help to navigate their healthcare choices.” – Sarah

“Take time to relax. It actually helps you take better care of your patients.” – Deann

In addition, when asked what they look for in potential interns or employees, Roger responded with what he calls, “The Three D’s.” These include drive, dependability, and depth. 

“I need to know that you have the drive and motivation to do the work; the dependability to come to work; and the depth or skills and knowledge to get the work done,” shared Roger.


While the panel may be done, the learning opportunities continue at Elmira College. The College offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs for those interested in a career in health, including pre-med, pre-dental, pre-occupational therapy, pre-physical therapy, pre-pharmacy, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and a Master of Science in Health Services Management

Online non-credit health courses are also available, such as pharmacy technician, clinical medical assistant, electronic health record management, dialysis technician program, ECG/EKG course for nurses, and Spanish for medical professionals.