By Lyndee Johns
Rows and rows of darkened rooms, each filled with silent dolls.
All watching as you go by.
Sounds like the next Anabelle movie?
It was actually fourth-semester nursing student Kailey Mazurkiewicz’s college tour of the Mary Jane Rawlinson Geertsen Nursing Learning Center at BYU (NLC).
“My tour guide took me into the NLC, only no one was there,” says Mazurkiewicz. “So all the lights are off because no one was present, and we’re walking down the hallway and there are just manikins . . . My little brother’s like nine, and he’s like, ‘I think I saw this in a horror movie once,’ because we’re walking in a dark basement with a bunch of manikins. And I’m like, ‘This is so cool!’”
It’s a really good thing that the NLC manikins don’t scare Mazurkiewicz since she currently works as a simulation TA for the NLC. “Favorite job by far,” says Mazurkiewicz. “I really love working in the simulator just because it’s very unique to BYU and it is very high-tech, and so it’s really cool to see how real we can make it.”
Mazurkiewicz has even gotten to act out being the patient on occasion. “So like I was a postpartum hemorrhage, so I got to be the patient. And that was so much fun. Highly entertaining.”
Mazurkiewicz’s interest in nursing sparked when her little brother had to have emergency surgery for appendicitis when she was in high school. “And I watched the nurses take care of him . . . and I thought it was such a cool experience to be able to help take care of someone,” she says. “And then I started volunteering in the emergency department at my local hospital . . . and I loved seeing what the nurses could do, and just how cool it was that they got to take care of patients and help interact with doctors.”
She performed this volunteer work during her junior and senior years of high school, spending her Friday nights as a patient escort in the aforementioned emergency room. “It was such a cool experience because I got to interact with patients of all ages, because it’s an emergency room,” says Mazurkiewicz. “And it was so fun because I got to see so many different things. It ranged from someone coming into the ER for a head cold to like someone coming into the ER because they were stabbed . . . I was very blessed never to be bored.”
One memorable Friday night had a full-to-bursting emergency room, and a patient needing to be life-flighted to another hospital—which required a helicopter landing in the hospital parking lot.
“So we had to go around and get the keys from all the patients/get them to move their cars so we could land the helicopter in the parking lot. And I remember being 17 and everyone’s in the lobby, and they’re like, ‘Why do you need us to move [our] car,’ and I was like, ‘So, we have to land a helicopter here.’”
Needless to say, that statement got some strange looks.
Mazurkiewicz is from Tri-Cities, Washington, and loves hiking, running, and the outdoors. “Literally anything that involves the sun, I will do it,” she says.
After graduation, Mazurkiewicz plans to work pediatrics. “I’m hoping to be at Primary Children’s when I graduate, because you can do all sorts of different aspects of nursing, whether it’s like med-surg or surgery or emergency room or ICU, but [it] involves kids and babies and I just work really well with them.”
Mazurkiewicz’s advice for incoming nursing students is to 1) “be as involved as possible” and 2) “be incredibly optimistic.”
“Nursing school is incredibly hard. It will be difficult. And so it’s important to be optimistic and to hold out and also to remember why you wanted to be a nurse . . . And this really hard day or week or entire semester is going to be worth it.”