As a 40-something wife to Jeff and mother of two busy kids, Morgan (14) and Andrew (12), Traci Reetz is not your traditional sonography college student.
“With graduation quickly approaching I look back at my experience as a student in Mercy College’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) Cardiac program, am overwhelmed with joy at what I have accomplished with the help of the instructors and staff at Mercy College.” Starting in May, Reetz will be employed at Iowa Heart Center as a cardiac diagnostic sonographer in Des Moines alongside many from whom she learned to scan in her clinical rotations.
Prior to becoming a student at Mercy College in the Spring of 2013, Reetz was blessed to serve the medical needs of Polk County’s homeless population as a nurse with Primary Health Care, Outreach – Healthcare, as part of a unique team of medical professionals.
Then, their second child was born and the decision was made that she would stay home and raise their children fulltime. While raising her family at home, she opened a bakery/cake design studio. Soon the kids were referring to Monday’s as “Fun day Monday” – because this was the only day, they were able to spend time with their mother. After seven years delighting the stomachs of families everywhere via her bakery business, she sold the bakery and went back to school.
Researching the future of health care, Reetz discovered the increasing demand for diagnostic medicine and how the Mercy College DMS program lends itself to her to raise her family. So she applied, was accepted into the Cardiac program and began her new journey and will graduate on Friday, April 24, 2015!
Deciding whether to return to college at this age with a busy family was a completely new ballgame, which took adjustment. “But, with the help of the amazing DMS instructors; Adrienne St. Clair and Erin Moon, I found my footing and off I went! I have never studied harder in my life, but it was all worth it! I dove into the program and all it had to offer.”
During her time in the DMS program, she served as Cardiac President for the Student Society of DMS where she organized several very successful fundraisers making it possible for the DMS students to attend the Midwest Society of Diagnostic Ultrasound Spring Conference in Minneapolis in April 2015.
Her work with the homeless population will always hold a special place in her heart, so much so, that Reetz and her fellow students spent time at Iowa Homeless Youth, regularly. They spent Thursday nights at the “drop in center” encouraging youth to continue their education and help them understand they do have what it takes succeed in college and earn their degree. These same youth were welcomed onto the Mercy College campus for tours where they learned of the many health science programs offered at Mercy. They had their own hearts scanned in the DMS lab on campus and learned about heart health.