The life of a…Health Science Major

Carole Ann Kinnaw

A health science major at Quinnipiac University is most typically seen as a person who practically lives in the library doing lab reports and studying for honors chemistry and biology.

They are common visitors to Zia’s Juice buying large coffees and seem to do more work than any other student on campus. And Junior Kaitlin Taginiski is taking on this challenge to achieve her dreams.

Throughout high school, Kaitlin Taginiski’s favorite subjects were math and science; so when she began deciding on which college she was going to attend, she looked for schools with strong health science programs.

Kaitlin knew that she wanted to stay in the Northeast region for school, except only four or five schools had the physician assistant program that she was looking for.

“Quinnipiac had the best physician assistant program out of the schools I looked at,” Taginiski said. “I had to be accepted into the program when I was a freshman and I stay in school for six and a half years.”

A physician assistant does a lot of the same things a doctor can, without actually having the title.

They can assist in surgeries and procedures. They also have a lot more one on one time with the patients because more often than not it is the physician assistant, not the doctor that relays procedure information to the patients.

A physician assistant can also change specialties without any extra schooling. For example a physician assistant working in the maternity ward can easily switch to doing physicals if he or she chooses to.

In her junior year, Kaitlin Taginiski is taking five classes and one lab class. Her classes include microbiology, cardiology, farmology, psychology, philosophy and microbiology lab.

“As a health science major you hear that sophomore year is going to be the hardest and it was; however junior year has proved to be the most work,” Taginski said.

Taginiski studies every night and for long periods of time on the weekend.

“It’s a lot of work,” she said.

Instead of doing internships like other majors at Quinnipiac University, health science majors do clinicals. For their spring semester, health science majors go to different parts of hospitals or doctor’s offices and observe the process.

Last year Taginiski had the opportunity to observe the Emergency Room in her clinical, which she found to be very interesting.

Over her spring semester of her junior year Taginiski will have three or four clinicals, and will receive a grade for it as if it were a class.

Taginiski is not sure what field she wants to go into exactly, but hopes to learn more about that in her spring semester and graduate school.

Although a lot of long hours go into being a health science major at Quinnipiac, Taginiski is determined to persevere and reach her dreams.