Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

July 20, 2011

‘Along for the journey’

Magness gets ‘hands-on’ experience in health care

From Staff Reports
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana —



It was his own illness that inspired a Corsicana native to take an interest in health care. That interest turned into a valuable life lesson for Grant Magness as an intern at Navarro Regional Hospital.

Magness, 21, son of C.E. and Sherry Magness, is a Baylor University senior and Corsicana native. He has spent this summer as an administrative intern at Navarro Regional Hospital. His interest in health care was spawned from the time he spent at Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas after he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at age 15.

Last year, at a Corsicana Rotary club function, Magness approached Navarro Regional Hospital CEO, Xavier Villarreal, about internship opportunities. Although it is not something that the hospital has done in the recent past, Villarreal was impressed with his enthusiasm and arranged for him to join the staff the next summer.

As part of the internship, Magness agreed to spend time in every department of the hospital. He observed surgeries, assisted in the emergency room, served food in the cafe, flushed out sewer lines and participated in administrative meetings. When asked about his most interesting or unusual experience during his internship, he doesn’t hesitate.

“I got to witness two births. I went home that evening and shook my mother’s hand.” 

But it was the routine workings of the hospital that Magness observed on a daily basis that impacted him the most.

“I never realized how much goes on behind the scenes in a hospital,” he said. “Nothing happens on its own…every department works together as a team; communication is important so that everything runs smoothly. The people that I worked with at Navarro Regional put a lot of care into what they do and they love their jobs. That’s reflected in the care that they give to their patients.”

It’s the process, safety measures and patient satisfaction that is measured everyday with every patient encounter. Magness had an opportunity to spend time with a Joint Commission representative who recently spent two days evaluating the hospital’s performance based on Joint Commission standards for accreditation.

“I found this most valuable during my time at Navarro,” said Magness. “As a future administrator in health care, understanding the Joint Commission’s efforts to ensure compliance and accreditation standards are imperative. It is very detailed.”

“Observing and actually working in each department has given Grant a unique perspective on the inner workings of a hospital that few people get the chance to see,” said Villarreal.

Villarreal said “hands on” experience is a great teacher.

“I was fortunate in my education and career to get ‘real’ experience in all departments within a hospital setting,” he said. “Health care leaders must have the knowledge and appreciation for each area and its function to understand the system and expectations.”

While looking forward to his upcoming senior year and applying to graduate schools, Magness is already anxious to begin his professional career, preferably in a children’s hospital. He is also considering health care consulting and public speaking.

Magness has high aspirations and many dreams to fulfill but as he likes to say, “If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans for the future.

“I’m along for the journey.” 

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