Capstone Spotlight: Holly Schellenberg

Holly and her husband Jed

By Eliza Joy

Holly Schellenberg is from American Fork. Besides serving a mission in Frankfurt, Germany, she has lived in Utah her whole life. After finishing her last semester this December, she and her husband Jed moved back to American Fork.

Holly decorates wedding cakes in her free time. “I’m actually almost ready to launch my business and make it official,” Holly announced. “I’ve just been having so much fun with that.”

When Holly isn’t working on her nursing skills or decorating cakes, she’s spending time with her family. “My husband loves board games and card games,” she said. “We like playing games at night and watching shows.” She met her husband on a blind double-date. Her best friend was interested in Jed’s coworker, but didn’t want to go out alone. “She said, ‘If you come with me, I’ll bring another coworker,’” Holly remembered fondly. They spent the date making waffles and doing Bob Ross tutorials. Then they continued dating through the beginning of COVID and the rest is history. 

After giving birth to Holly’s oldest sister, Holly’s mother dropped out of nursing school. “I was always impressed by how much she knew about health,” Holly remembered. “That’s kind of what piqued my interest in nursing.” As she started college, she realized what a great fit nursing would be for her. “I love people,” she declared. “I love interacting with people talking and I also love doing things with my hands.” Attending BYU was something Holly decided carefully. “My whole family were fans growing up so I was indoctrinated a little bit,” she admitted. “I just had a couple of schools I was thinking about. I made a pros and cons list and prayed about it and felt like BYU was where I needed to be.”

Her last semester at BYU, Holly was able to capstone at Utah Valley Hospital in the pediatric unit, where she is currently working. She had many tender experiences while capstoning, including one where a child was successfully distracted from getting an IV. “We got so good at distracting her that when we put the giant needle in her arm, she didn’t even realize. I was so surprised.” There were also difficult experiences during Holly’s capstone. Because of the pandemic, the number of visitors allowed was limited. “They could only have two visitors that would rotate and sometimes that was hard,” she recalled. “There was a boy who didn’t speak English. His whole family wanted to be there with him at this critical time. They were wanting to huddle together and we went in there almost everyday and asked some of them to leave.” Although heartbreaking, these precautions helped both patients and workers feel more protected.

For Holly, being sympathetic is a crucial aspect of the Healer’s art. “The Healer’s art is really an art of listening and being present for your patients,” she testified. “A lot of times people who end up getting physical care really need emotional care, too. Jesus was always present with the people He was with. He listened a lot.”

When asked what she would miss the most about BYU, Holly said, “Oh, my gosh, that is so easy. It’s the people, and it has been from the minute I stepped into my freshman dorm. And my cohorts are just all such golden people. And I love them. I feel like there would be lots of cliques and things, especially when you’re with the same girls for four years. But I can honestly say I love every single one of those girls, and I know every single one of them loves me, too.” 

Holly’s advice for capstone students is to ask questions. “You get to the end of school and you realize, ‘Oh, I’ve done all this nursing school. I’m almost a nurse.’ And then you feel like ‘Whoa, I should know a little bit more than I do.’ You forget stuff as semesters go on. But one thing I had to keep reminding myself is that it’s okay to ask questions. Now is the time to ask questions, because now is when you’re in a classroom or you’re in school, or you’re in Capstone. It’s okay to look a little bit dumb sometimes because no one really expects you to remember everything.” In addition, Holly’s life motto is, “Trying is succeeding.” “You don’t have to be perfect,” she said. “You just have to try. And if you try, you’ve succeeded.

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