5 Questions with Levi Altic ’22
We ask premed student Levi Altic ’22 about his experience working in healthcare both at a large hospital in Dayton and a smaller hospital near his hometown.
Now a junior majoring in premed with a psychology minor, Levi Altic grew up near Arcanum, Ohio, a village about 35 miles northwest of the UD campus. Within the past year, he gained experience working with patients in two hospitals, a large one in Dayton, and a small one in Greenville, not far from Arcanum.
Once a week for four hours, I worked in the Valley’s Hospital Elder Life Program in various units. As patients stay longer in a hospital, they can become confused about their surroundings. So I would play cards or do crosswords or simple puzzles with them. Sometimes I’d talk with them about their grandkids. These activities help get them back to who and where they are.
I worked in the telemetry unit in cardiology, monitoring patients. As a nurse’s aide, I had duties such as responding to call lights; I’d help patients to the bathroom or clean them up. Sometimes I worked in the ER or ICU, which was turned into a COVID-19 unit, with the ICU beds being moved to telemetry. As the school year began, the ICU was still the COVID-19 unit.
I worked second shift, 3-11:30 p.m. Some patients get confused at night, so I tried to help like I did at the Valley. The hospital is too small to have a separate program for them. Sometimes we’d move them closer to the nurses’ station. In their confusion, they’d get up thinking they were home. They’d want their families; and their families were not there.
Oh, yeah! You get attached. You want them to get better. When they get worse, it’s depressing. One night a man was OK when I left at 11:30. He died during the night. We did CPR on one patient for 25 minutes until the family let us stop. Two hours earlier the man had been well enough to drink coffee.
In high school I thought I might go into finance because I loved math. Playing basketball my sophomore year, I tore my ACL. The surgeon sent me a video of the operation on my knee. I thought, “This is cool.” And, since I have empathy with people, medicine was a good choice. I chose UD because it was more communal than other schools I visited. UD’s message was, “It will be tough, but we’ve got your back. Everybody is in this together.”