Baby Solo has always been interested in taking care of people, but when covid interrupted her college experience, she realized taking a smaller step at a trade school might benefit her in the long run.
In Iowa, Baby had graduated high school and gone on to college in her hometown. She was working as a caregiver and was interested in working her way up to a hospital.
“I love taking care of other people,” she said. “I was going to school for nursing but covid hit and I got unmotivated.”
Just as she decided to step back from nursing school, Baby’s husband was transferred to another state and Baby decided to move with him. It was the fresh start she needed to get back into her education, but at a pace she was more comfortable with.
“I thought, ‘Let me take a step back and do a little step in between,’ ” she said. “I decided to go for medical assisting because I felt like it was an easier step to take but would also let me take another step toward becoming a nurse. I just wanted to start a little bit slower.”
“It was a different culture than I was used to,” she said. “I did go to college for a little bit, and I was familiar with things there. California was very different because I knew no one. Everything at the nursing school was very fast paced. It was very either you learn it now or you don’t learn it at all. At UEI, even though it was only eight months, we took our time to learn things. I felt like it was much easier to learn than the nursing school.”
Baby learned quickly that studying in a silo like she had been doing in nursing school would not work at UEI. There, everyone worked collaboratively and learned together.
“It definitely got me out of my comfort zone,” she said. “It expanded my education and helped me make some friendships that I feel like will last for a long time. I told myself if I want to learn and pass my classes, I have to make friends and ask questions. That was difficult for me to do but I did it.”
That push to be outgoing helped Baby to excel in her program and she was even hired by her externship site.
“She is young, ambitious and has a really bright future,” said Richard Luis, Baby’s instructor. “She is a pleasure to be around. The way she communicates and makes people feel at ease in our labs or when we had patients from other programs come in, she is very engaging and very calming. She had it all.”
Now that she has more medical knowledge and experience working in the field, Baby feels confident that she can excel in a nursing program. She plans to enroll in the near future.
“I would tell others to take your time,” she said. “Figure out what you want to do before you jump into it. Take little steps. Sometimes the little steps matter. UEI is a place you’ll want to be. The staff are very caring. They take their time to check on you. Even during my externship, someone was constantly texting me to remind me to turn in my hours and get things done. They don’t give up easily on their students.”