Photo courtesy of Carl Schuessler

Generations of Healthcare

Growing up I have always had a big heart for compassion and caring, I think it came from being the oldest of 3 kids.

I don’t think you could see anyone take care of their baby dolls as well as I did. In high school whenever I was thinking about  what I could potentially see as my career, the healthcare field always popped into my head. My father was in healthcare on the insurance side, both of my grandparents were doctors, and one of my grandmothers was a medical tech.  I started to look back on what desires I had in my heart as a kid, and I always fell back onto how caring I am. I was also that kid who didn’t pitch a fit about going to the doctor, it actually interested me with all the medical supplies and what the doctors and nurses did. After shadowing a PA during my Senior year, I had decided I liked more of what nurses did. In the hospital, nurses are one the most hands on with the patient, know the patient the best, care for the patient at the bedside, and establish a relationship with the patient. We can have one of the greatest impacts on their care. We are really the ones that give and carry out that direct patient-centered care.

My nursing school journey was tough, but it is supposed to be right? The lectures were long, my notes were long and color-coded, I spent hours studying, lots of early mornings and late nights, and the tests were hard. Nursing school teaches you time management, that is one skill that takes repetition to get ingrained into your head on how to do it. Perfect practice makes perfect. Nursing school also teaches you that you must take care of yourself before you can take care of others! It prepares us to take care of people’s lives. There is no second chance when it comes to life! I pushed and persevered until the end. Getting through and finishing nursing school felt like such a reward. After you pass your boards, it is an uncontrollable excitement because it means you are officially an RN, and all that schooling becomes even more worth it! 

For me, these new letters after my name aren’t just a symbol of my completion of school and passing my boards. It symbolizes my dream of becoming a nurse, the impact, and the care I want to bring to every life I encounter, and the impact I want to bring to the Health Care system. Becoming a nurse is just one aspiration in my life as I have many goals and desires, this is just my starting point. Excitement is an understatement of the way I feel about this new journey ahead of me. I’m thrilled to see where this journey leads me, the people I will meet, and the knowledge I will gain.

I get my work ethic and passion in what I do from my dad, Carl Schuessler. He is the ultimate person who inspired me to work hard and go for my dreams (alongside with my mom too). Ever since my siblings and I were little, my dad would be at every sports game, recital, school event, and he coached over 40 of our sports teams. On top of that he worked, and he worked hard. The one thing I always remember my dad saying is, “I’m very passionate about what I do.” I began to ask more questions of what it was he did the older I got. I began to find what he does is very intriguing, and that he is really trying to have an impact on our broken healthcare system.

When my dad has a passion, he is all in. His passion for healthcare comes from his frustration with the healthcare system and its prices. He is an Employee Benefits Advisor who provides Risk Management, Cost Containment and Employee Benefits Consulting.  He basically helps save companies money by building them financial planning solutions for their employee benefits –  he created The FairCo$t Health Plan and has formed Mitigate Partners. Mitigate Partners customizes and builds Employer-Built health care plans for companies to provide better and more affordable healthcare costs/coverage for their employees. Not only does he want to provide more affordable healthcare but also more valuable care to employees. One of his clients, The Gasparilla Inn & Club, my dad has saved them over $3 million the last 4 years by moving them off their fully insured plan onto his FairCo$t self-funded health plan. As my dad has told me, “He builds customized Employer-Built Health Care solutions.” Let’s just say, he is very creative. And passion inspires creativity. 

My grandfather, Dr. Carl Schuessler, was a practicing OBGYN in Macon, Georgia for 48 years. He decided to go into Pre-Med because his father was a General Practitioner (GP) doctor and inspired him to be. By the way, like me, he also graduated from The Medical College of Georgia (now Augusta University) in 1968.  After medical school, he went into the military for 2 years and served as a doctor. After he finished in the military, he joined a private practice in Macon, Georgia to specialize in OB because he said, “it was fun and most of the time the people were happy.” His favorite part about being a doctor was taking care of people and creating an impact on their healthcare. His reason for retiring was to have more time with his family and to have more time for his hobby - maintaining his farmland in Forsyth, Georgia.

My other grandfather, Dr. Stephen Rando, was a Radiologist for 34 years. Originally, he wanted to go to Georgetown and major in languages, but it was too expensive. So, he went to a local college in New Orleans, Loyola University and ended up in Pre-Med attending medical school at LSU. He wanted to help people, which led him to choose Pre-Med, but he told me “To this day I’m not sure how or why I chose medical school, I just woke up one morning and decided I wanted to go medical school.” Following medical school, he worked in Slidell, Louisiana as a general practitioner for a couple of months, then went to Grady Hospital in Atlanta to do his internship, then went into the military for 2 years. After serving, he came back to Emory Hospital in Atlanta to do his radiology residency, then moved to Macon where he finished out his career. He chose radiology because he thought, “It was something that crossed all the specialties and you get a little taste of each one of them.” His favorite part of being a doctor was helping the people he saw daily. He retired because he wanted to have more time with his growing family, and to be able to have time to travel with his wife while still young and able.

My grandmother, Judy Rando, was a Medical Tech for about 3 years until she had kids. The thought of wanting to help sickpeople led her to go into healthcare, and she enjoyed learning about different diseases and sicknesses. She wanted to go into healthcare but was unsure about the length of medical school. She attended Loyola University in New Orleans and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology. She said one of her favorite things about being a medical tech was, “How much she got to learn, how rewarding it was, and being able to interact with the patients daily.”

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