Happy 28th Wedding Anniversary Randy! August 4, 1990

Randy and I were married by Father Dave Polich on Saturday, August 4, 1990 at 2:00 pm at Christ the King Catholic Church on the south side of Des Moines. It was a beautiful day and we had fun ceremony with many friends and family attending and participating.

We had a fun ceremony!

Our son Nick was 16 months old and accompanied by Michele Ridout so he wouldn’t be interested in making any fuss! My father, Dick, and my sister, Julie did the readings; Tammy Butler Silvey and Stacey Quick Lovell served as my best gals; while Randy’s brother Kyl Botkin and Bryan Anderson his best boys.

Of course, my mother Ann, sister Janice and her daughter Taylor Prochnow, Randy’s parents Marylin and Jim Botkin, Grandpa Chuck Botkin; Randy’s and my co-workers and friends all joined us for the day!

My brother Mike Prochnow served as videographer, while my attendant Joyce Clark and guest book attendant Sharla Hickman helped. Hope I’m not forgetting anyone at this time! We’ll have to get the wedding book out before we go out to eat tonight Randy. Oh, the organist, Alma. Everyone helped us become married!

After the ceremony with Mass of course, our wedding party rode around town in a long black limo. The driver followed our directions to retrace the steps around Court Avenue and the downtown library where we met (on 8/8/99) while walking to the parking lot!

Someone from the party opened a bottle of champagne in the limo and it exploded, staining my wedding dress! 

Our reception was held at the apartment complex where I lived. Garcia’s Restaurant (where Randy worked part-time) catered the food. And my brother, Steven Prochnow served as the DJ! We ate, danced and had a great time partying!

We have lots of pictures, and when I look back now, I think, what a waste of film!  Many of the pictures were not shot in correct lighting and are blurry. Nowadays, you can do soooo much more with shooting photography and editing pictures…..a favorite hobby! 

Afterwards, and into the evening, Randy and I drove North for our honeymoon…with a destination of Duluth Minnesota. Yo, huh!? Actually, to tell the truth, I drove that night because someone was a little tipsy. We had to drive back home first before taking off because someone forgot the luggage, plus the cans needed to be cut off the car! 

Split Rock Lighthouse

Remember the trip Randy! We had a blast, and have been having a wonderful marriage ever since! Kinda.  Marriage is not easy, that’s for sure! But I realize I am blessed to be married to my kinda of man. Always a celebration or a fight going on! 

Randy, although in the past I’ve told you I hated your guts, have hit & hurt you,  flipped you off  and done way too many other sins that affect you, I do love you very, very, very, …… very much! REB+AEB 4Ever

As an aside, my writing  does contain a lot about Randy….love letters! Read my blog! He is the source of my capacity to be self-employed and work from home. Thank you big guy!

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Happy 28th Birthday ADA! It’s Fun to Celebrate the Birth of a Great Law!

It’s fun to celebrate the birth of a great law! Bring on the cake and ice cream!

The ADA was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush. The ADA is one of America’s most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life — to enjoy employment opportunities, to purchase goods and services, and to participate in State and local government programs and services. Modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin – and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 

~~ The ADA is an “equal opportunity” law for people with disabilities!

To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability, which is defined by the ADA as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. The ADA does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered. Source: https://www.ada.gov/ accessed 7/26/2018

And for your information, this Center is very helpful!

100 Corporate Lake Drive
Columbia, MO  65203
(573) 882-3600
1-800-949-4232
Serving Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.
 

~~I have many memories of the people I’ve counseled over the years and continue to advocate awareness of persons with disabilities. Here’s a bouquet of gerbera to profess my gratitude for what I learn from my customers, clients, and all the people who have taught me about life. 

If you have a case involving work and disability, let me know if you’d like my help. I will thoroughly investigate all aspects of vocational rehabilitation and pay particular attention to health, safety and quality of life! 

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Vocational Resources Plus LLC…Disclaimer…My Very Own Personalized Version!

Disclaimer…My Very Own Personalized Version

The website I own and maintain www.lcpresourcesplus.com is a personal blog with stories and views all written and edited by me; and it is always in transition! Just like me, too! Note: the URL address stands for l~life c~care p~planning resources plus. I should someday obtain a domain that is easier on the thinker! Reflected in those 3 letters, LCP, is my love to prepare life care plans for people. 

SunflowersMy blog is a medium for me to connect with my readers and build relationships. I enjoy creative writing and sharing my talents!

The information I publish (mostly on work and life, while offering ways to help attorneys help their clients) does not reflect the views of anyone else but me unless I’ve won you over! (And I will!) All opinions are my own! I treat my site like gold and do whatever I can to protect it and sincerely don’t want any content to be nothing other than a masterpiece. Because sources, information and links change over time, I’ll do what I can to track the natural evolution of content on my site.

Sunflowers

I’m a rehabber and it’s in my nature to improve things…everyday!

If a post or something on my blog just doesn’t make sense to you or you see a typo or a problem referenced within my writing, please let me know. Provide me the information and I’ll see what change needs to happen. I do accept responsibility for the personal views and information I have control over, but as you and I both know, what really is under our control?

And of course, I like to add and display media ~ pictures, images, downloads, etc. Although some of these creative beings are mine, many are not, and those that are not, I do not own although I’d like to feel as though I do as they help me feature my blog. I certainly don’t make any money off this blog…because there is nothing for sale!

Sunflowers

My intention is to of course do no harm, and again it’s my opinion and advice, not counsel.

Although I am a counselor, my blog is not used to convey a fact nor absolute nor shape a counseling relationship with my readers. (Sorry, that doesn’t sound too nice, but this is a disclaimer!) Whatever advice, tips, techniques, and recommendations I make are meant solely to help others. I am not responsible nor will I be held liable for any unapproved or inappropriate comments. Further, I am also not responsible for mistranslation or interpretation of my site’s content.

And once again, the content on this blog is the opinion of the blogger, who is me, Amy! and it is not intended to “malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual,” or anyone or thing, especially those with the ability and desire to fight back! If there is concern or any copyright issue, again, let me know and I’ll make amends.

Sunflowers

Whew, and I thought a couple of sentences would do it!

I’ll continually edit this disclaimer and repost as time progresses and I learn more about (myself as well as the) world of small business blogging and website maintenance. Thank you for reading! ~ Yours truly, Amy E. Botkin

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

 

 

 

Yoga Yogi to the Rescue…What’s Your Favorite Pose? Helping Myself to Help Others!

I’m a strong proponent for practicing yoga as a form of complementary and alternative therapy.  Well, for me, I practice yoga to relax and rejuvenate thee ole’ muscles after strenuous physical activity.  Yoga is great to reduce stress, strengthen and tone your body, and increase your flexibility.  What I really love about yoga is you can do it right in your living room!

Yoga Yogi to the Rescue!

I practice many yoga moves and have been practicing since fall 2010.  My favorite yoga poses include those I can describe as fire hydrants, salute to the sun, shoulder stand, t balance, triangle, mermaid, spider, butterfly, fish, tortoise, camel,  gliding swan, kneeling dolphin, pigeon…….I could go on and on! But for my ultimate vote I’d recommend Sun Salutation!

The Sun Salutation (or salute to the sun) is an incredible move that stretches ligaments and muscles to increase the elasticity of the vertebral column and joints. It’s actually a series of 12 yoga moves performed in a single, graceful flow.

Sun Salutation

Yoga has helped my mind, body and soul in many, many ways! Thank you Noreen Gosch, for being my first excellent yoga instructor.  She teaches through the Des Moines Public Schools Community Education Program and I highly recommend any course, whether exercise related or not, that catches your interest!

Yes, it’s time to roll out my mat!

Keep in mind there are many variations of yoga! Many poses provide a wonderful stretch for the entire length of the body. Like the crocodile pose! Be sure to try the horse posture, it works on the outer thigh/hip pocket area ~ yea the saddle bags; and the reclining warrior, excellent for stretching the thighs and strengthening back muscles….and…and…and….oh I love Yoga!

As on update to this blog posting, (which is an evergreen one in my eyes), I obtained a dream goal (in July 2016), which was to lead a yoga class! Hum, a calling? No, I just want to share my gifts with others.  I want to make myself as good as I can be do help others (BTW, I love Healing Touch too!)

If you’d like to discuss the benefits of yoga, or any therapy that catches your interest, let me know. I guarantee if you practice any form of yoga that works for your body, you will be in a better state of mind!

Amy E. Botkin, MS, CRC, CLCP * Vocational Resources Plus, LLC 

lcpresourcesplus.com

VocResources@gmail.com

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

My Shoulder is Nearly Healed…In Time for Helping Out with New Work Comp Laws!

At the beginning of the year 2017, I injured my left rotator cuff. I believe the tear was formed during a combination of activity, but I’m not entirely sure what happened.  It took the shoulder a long time to heal and it affected my physical capacity for more than five months.

The first six months are critical to any injured body part that wants to heal. Proper care, nutrition, stretching, exercise and relaxation are essential components of rehabilitation.  A “don’t give up attitude” is too. I can relate to the limited movement, the pain, and the frustration from the rotator cuff injury!

What’s good is that my shoulder (along with my arms and entire core) is much stronger than before because, well simply put, I care about my shoulders and exercise with purpose so they can work hard for me! 

I was offline for maintenance, but I’m back and stronger than ever!

They’re your only shoulders, all yours. If there’s injury, please do everything possible allowing it to heal on its’ own.  

I seriously believe practicing yoga/focused stretching is valuable during any healing process. But what happens when a shoulder injury becomes chronic after 6 months? If surgery is performed, it’s even more paramount to pay attention to rehabilitation efforts. 

Rehabilitation includes body and mind. Speaking of mind, I am grateful to hear of the new change in the Iowa workers’ compensation law to provide workers who have a serious shoulder injury and can no longer return to their existing job with vocational rehabilitation benefits. After July 1, 2017, if in the workers’ compensation system for a shoulder injury, the individual will receive assistance with gaining knowledge through training at a local community college…and we have good ones here in Iowa!

Also in January of this year 2017,  I worked with a vocational rehabilitation client through this same scenario.  The client had a serious rotator cuff injury with multiple surgeries to his shoulder and wasn’t expected to be able to return to his job as a roofer. He expressed interest in work as a heavy machine operator, so upon research and contact with local resources, I prepared an in-depth report to support my findings to help him move into a new career. Please let me know if (after July 1, 2017) you have a need on a case involving a shoulder injury as this information is fresh!

Gerald the Cat…Studious, Quick and Very Orange & Very Cool!

“Iowa’s workers’ compensation law will be changing significantly for injuries that occur after July 1, 2017. 

Shoulders (85.34)   Shoulder injuries are no longer considered industrial disabilities and are now categorized as scheduled member injury based off of 400 weeks.

Shoulder Rehabilitation (85.70)  An employee who has sustained an injury to the shoulder resulting in PPD who cannot return to gainful employment because of the disability, now has the right to be evaluated by the department of workforce development, and if deemed appropriate, referred to an area community college to receive new career vocational training. The employer or the employer’s insurer is required to pay financial support for participation in the program up to $15,000 for tuition, fees, and required supplies.”

Nice Biceps!

Please let me know if you have a need for a vocational expert like me to help. I have lots of experience helping Veterans with returning to school so they can then commence with a new career. Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon!

I enjoy using cool cats to support my work!

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Time for Spring Break! Patience and Perseverance Continue to Dominate!

There’s not much growing in our back yard but crocus which tells me its Spring Break. Nothing’s growing because 1) the dog loves the backyard and has many a good day carrying on in her canine best; and 2) the very large shag bark tree.

  A very, very large shag bark…

I know someday the back yard will look much better and all I can do now is take care of it as best as  I can. Read: don’t complain about the never ending picking up mounds of dog poop and the millions of sticks, branches and pieces of bark. Okay millions could be an exaggeration, but not when you count how long that tree’s lived back there. And someday it won’t.

Crocus

CrocusI love crocus!

I believe patience and perseverance are the best qualities in a person and a beautiful flower! All will come when it is supposed to. Nothing can, could or will or would ever change this.

It’s impossible to embrace progress without patience and perseverance. In my work, I learn to keep keeping on until it all makes sense! I work until things click, click and then click until it sticks. I’m able to find comfort in what I’m doing now and can find that the powers-that-be will grace me with accomplishment then. What matters to me is finding happiness and success in your everyday life!CrocusImage result for crocusImage result for crocus

Crocus

“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.”

 John Quincy Adams quotes (American 6th US President (1825-29), eldest son of John Adams, 2nd US president. 17671848)

successI hope you have a safe and enjoyable Spring Break! If you’re going on a road trip, feel free to take this map along!

Success is Found After Driving Safely through Patience, Dreamland, Hard Work & Perseverance (Hopefully you didn’t end up in Pain!

 

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

 

 

How My Past has Brought Me to The Present – as a Rehab Counselor! Part 4

My story leading up to my career as a rehabilitation counselor who focuses on job placement continues!

Many of my first jobs in the big city of Des Moines, Iowa were secured through temporary staffing agencies.  I find the benefit of staffing agencies invaluable! From a personal perspective, working for a staffing agency really helped me to develop my career. Here’s a link to an article of the benefits of staffing agencies from a business point of view.

The View Wasn’t Quite Like This When I Started as  Kelly Girl!

Specifically, at this time in my life in 1984-85, I started employment through Kelly Services.  I worked at many businesses, mostly in downtown Des Moines, but also at businesses in other areas of the city for about a year. I worked around a variety of people, and in diverse environments. It was great!

The clerical skills I used (and greatly enhanced on the job) to help these companies included ~ 95 words per minute typing speed, (can’t quite reach that speed anymore!), reception responsibilities such as greeting clientele, answering phones, taking messages, filing, and other general secretarial office procedures. Again, it was great!

To name a few of my assignments from memory (come on little computer in thy brain):  American Can, The Embassy Club, Chamberlin Kirke-Van Orsdel, Sears Credit Card, Younkers Department Store (in the Marketing Department). Besides the tragedy, this is another reason why I shed a tear over the Younkers fire in March 2014…

Image result for many jobs I loved my temporary clerical jobs!

While working for Kelly Services as a temp during the day, I also worked part-time at the Target Café on the weekends (when the Target was on Fleur Drive).  I catered to all the hungry shopper’s food needs.  I made pizzas, pretzels, popcorn, nachos, sandwiches, chicken tenders, fries, and the rest of the snack bar options.  It was a nice job to have. And I never left hungry! At that time, I also lived right across Fleur in an apartment with my sister Janice, so I just walked to and from work!

Additionally during this time period in my life, in the evening I worked on the top floor of the Federal Building for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.  (I remember watching the construction of The Plaza across 3rd Street…which was completed in November of 1985) After receiving on-the-job training, I called farmers and asked specific questions about crops and livestock, while entering codes and farmer responses into the computer. It was an interesting job to have! Data entry was valuable, as was good communication skills.

I’ll never forget one farmer, who upon listening to my introduction replied “I’m sleeping.”  I appreciated his ability to sleep and talk….and respected his underlying wishes (and politely wished him good night – it was like 8:00pm, and hung up…farmers=hard-workers.)  Because of my direct experience with telemarketing in a call center environment, I have insight into the nature of work as a telemarketer and its business value.  In other words, it’s a viable occupation and the person on the other end simply has job to do.  Please respect that.

Work as a telemarketer requires excellent communication skills

In 1986, I applied and was hired at Mercy Medical Center as a correspondence clerk.  The medical records clerk job description is very important to healthcare. Click here for a job description for medical records clerk.  Commonly a medical records clerk needs an associate level college degree.

I was hired at Mercy because of my nursing background, my knowledge of medical terminology and the courses I completed in anatomy and physiology, as well as my clerical abilities.  At this job, I worked days (the medical records department was a 24/7 operation). Each day, the phones were incessant with callers wanting medical records and the incoming mail filled with correspondence from patients, doctors and other medical facilities requesting records.  Oh, and the back log – stacked to the ceiling in my supervisor’s office…

My work as a correspondence clerk was a lot!  After opening the mail, I logged everything in.  Then, I had to locate the medical record file.  The storage area containing medical records was vast as was the sheer size of some of the files.  There was a lot of paperwork, nursing notes, testing results, surgical records…on and on and on.  At times the record was on microfiche, which required visiting the basement to locate boxes near the (aahhhh) morgue.

After locating and retrieving the file (which involved accuracy and a check and balance process), the contents of the file were reviewed, the information that was requested was clipped and copied.

Image result for copy machine cartoon To this day a bit of animosity to large copy machines remains within. 

Then the requested information was prepared, a cover letter attached, and mailed, faxed, or delivered via internal mail procedures.  Again, a lot of documentation of what was done and to who, oh and how much was charged.

One day, I learned about the availability of civil service tests to work for the government.  So, I took a test or two or three, did well, and applied with the State of Iowa.  I was hired as a Clerk Typist III-IV for the State of Iowa at the Bureau of Disability Determination Services (DDSB) in the Department of Education.

At that time DDSB was located in the Jessie Parker Building, 510 East 12th Street, Des Moines.  I have lots of good memories, met many friends  (I love you Chele Ridout!), and learned a lot about work and disability.

As I blog through time and space both forward and backward, I have no idea how many parts this story will go!  I hope you enjoy it.  Please provide me with feedback or comments.  I love to learn about what people do with their skills and abilities!

More to come, please stay tuned for Part 5.

Initial publication date: December 12, 2011

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Why I Got Into Rehab Counseling….I Love Placement and Life, Too! – Part 3

HERE IS MY STORY, continued oN – Part 3

To understand my passion for job placement (and caring for others!), I’ve blogged about my former jobs and learning experiences.  This helps me (but I do feel kinda old going waaaayy back in time) look at a variety of occupations from a unique advantage.  Thank you for reading….and continue on!

In June of 1983, I enrolled at North Iowa Area Community College, Mason City, Iowa  and took practical nursing coursework.   Here is a list of the coursework along with the everyday tasks in a Licensed Practical Nurse Career.

NIACC, known at times as Tinker Toy College!

While at NIACC, I lived in the dorms. Yes, many interesting stories in my memory bank! I recently visited campus and my room looks exactly the same (read outdated)!  It was cool to walk around the campus and relive some memories : ) .  The dorms are on one side with a path across a lake (read waaaayy  COLD in the winter) leading on to the classroom buildings.  When not taking campus courses, we were doing practicums at the hospital or at a nursing facility.

The hospital training was at Mercy Medical Center North Iowa.  Keep in mind it’s a bit of a driving trek from the NIACC side of Mason to the hospital. I remember one extra cold morning (aren’t they all!).  I went out to the parking lot carefully, it’s dark, windy, icey and cold. Brrr. There’s my little blue car (a Plymouth Champ – fondly called Chump). The Chump was frozen solid in the dorm parking lot. Originally Chump was my mom‘s car, and I eventually acquired her and drove many a trip back and forth from Iowa Falls to Mason City, mostly on Highway 65.

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The Chump, she had a 5 speed stick shift and a sun/moon roof!

I had to go back into the dorms and locate help! Hey, don’t forgot how butt cold I would’ve been, and am right now just thinking about the cold. BTW, I have Raynaud’s syndrome, probably related to this day!?! No, there have been many many times growing up in Northern Iowa for a young lady to freeze her arss off!

I found help from a maintenance worker to unfreeze the locks, and ultimately I ended up going through the hatchback of the care (not the first time this would happen in my lifetime!)  I was wearing my light weight nursing uniform (coat too of course) and it wouldn’t been either a dress or top with linen pants). BTW: The average temperature in Mason City (population 28,000) is like 15°F in January! I’m pretty sure I had a fellow nursing student with me and we made it to the hospital for our clinical practicum on time which was 6:30 AM, or close to it! Our class had two males in it; and I’m curious what they’re up to so many years later.

Another update from Amy and hey, this is a great result from my decision to revise/repost some older writing material!  FYI: Mason City, Iowa, boasts the largest collection of Prairie School architecture outside Chicago.  A local non-profit organization, Wright on the Park, Inc. has information for me to share with you! I love architecture. Her’s an idea leading me to plan another trip to Mason in the future!

As an LPN student I wore a little white hat!

Another portion of the LPN clinical practicum was work at a nursing home (yes in Mason City….can’t recall the name of it at this point in time).  I recall caring for a man deep in the throes of Alzheimer’s disease.  When his wife came to visit, their interactions were …. well it’s hard to find the right words.

But it’s something I will not forget, as were many other experiences in the hospital and in the nursing home during my nurse training days.

Image result for nurse training cartoonI’ve always had a strong desire to care for all life!

Back to my nurse training days. During my clinicals, I learned the importance of being aware of other’s reactions and understanding why they react the way the do (Social Perceptiveness).

Nursing requires talking to others to effectively convey information (Speaking Skills), actively looking for ways to help people (Service Orientation), knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services including needs assessment techniques, quality service standards, alternative delivery systems, and customer satisfaction evaluation techniques (Customer and Personal Service Skills).

Nursing definitely requires the ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem (Problem Sensitivity) and using logic and analysis to identify the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches (Critical Thinking).

Image result for valueI value my nurse training immensely!

And of course, I also value my nursing career that followed! : )

Please note that Our country has a critical nursing shortage that is expected to intensify as baby boomers age and the need for health care grows.  This four page document titled Nursing Faculty Shortage Fact  was last updated: March 16, 2015 reveals many facts.

The value of positive clinical learning experiences is invaluable if we as a society want to attract, and retain good nursing students.  Click here for a article to reinforce the statement I just made. And we need to support our students and existing nurses. Here’s a link for information on the importance of nurse mentoring.

Image result for nurse cartoonI admire and respect nurses considerably.  

When hospitalized myself a few years ago in the summer at Iowa Lutheran Hospital from a severe reaction to poison ivy I paid a lot of attention to the staff. I was sent by ambulance from my doctor’s office to the ER, where I was treated and watched for a few hours, to be released home.  …Only to have to return hours later to the ER after calling out in the middle of the night [to my husband] that I really needed help!

I was full of poison from inhalation of smoke from burning logs / sticks in a firepit out at Cottonwood (Saylorville Lake). The sticks (I collected the sticks from my own back yard……..and made the fire) had the nasty nasty resin that I’m highly allergic to. I was an inpatient for about a week recovering from severe allergic contact dermatitis. And I made sure to give thanks and praise for such good nursing care.

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Be sure you do the same when you encounter a nurse!

Again, back to my nurse training days. I remember my initial CPR training with the full size dummy’s (Annie)! And I’ve received training ever since (oops Amy, update 12/16/2015: I need to recertify in First Aid, CPR and AED and I know my instructor training certificate has expired.)

Some training for you:  : ) Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency procedure which is performed in an effort to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a person in cardiac arrest. The source for your training is through wikipedia : )

Anyway, I have been trained through the American Heart Association and through the American Red Cross.  In later days I would become more involved in both these agencies through the progression of my career. Ahh, time to link you to my resume….it’s in the download section of my website.

I’ve been wanting to design an interactive resume, as it will help me pronounce what’s most important in my background for a specific case where I may be called upon to serve as a vocational expert!

CPR is hands-only (no breaths) nowadays.

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On with my story… At some point, hard to pin that exact time in history at this moment, I traveled to and stayed in Irving, Texas for a month and a half or so, to help a friend with her growing family (play with babies and have fun). Right Tammy & Tony (RIP) Silvey!  I had one job interview, but never worked anywhere during my visit and returned to Iowa. Then I moved to Des Moines, Iowa in 1984 and stayed with my sister Janice who had an apartment on the Southside near the airport! I eventually moved in after her roommate moved out!

More to write about next week! Stay tuned for Part 4

Original publication date: December 5, 2011

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

My Passion for Job Placement! Here is My Story – Part 2

To understand my passion for job placement, let me tell you a little about some of the jobs and experiences I’ve had growing up.  I mentioned in an earlier post the fact that childhood interests can help you find the right career.  This is so true!

To Thine Own Self Be True

My first job at age 13 was babysitting (okay, child care provider). Besides gaining transferable skills, Click here for transferable skills of a Childcare Provider, clearly “babysitting” sets the stage for good parental skills (I have 3 children).

Before this time in my life, I “held a job” as a swimmer.

Starting at age 6 through about age 17, I was a member of the Iowa Falls Scenic City Swim Club.  The coach, Bruce, was one hard arss.  Swim club is where I learned the art of practice, perseverance, perfecting a stroke, team work, and how to really hold your breath!

I recall the feeling of free style swimming the full length of the olympic-sized swimming pool (164 feet) without turning my head even once to take a breath.  I pretended I was a fish!My favorite trophy! (Body shape certainly not mine at that tine!)

With babysitting, mowing neighbors’ lawns and swimming, along with cleaning my dad’s office space and the shop’s bathroom (ugg) at Culligan Soft Water, summers were busy.

When I got a little older, I started walking beans (definitely not good at this job…not enough physical strength) and detasseling corn (I was horrible at this job, clearly a height challenge (my “accommodations” included a walker who was just a lot better than my horrible hoeing and cutting with a knife; and a cute tall guy a row over who graciously pulled the stalks way down to my level.) Because these were not reasonable accommodations and I knew that back then, I voluntarily left….or I wasn’t called back to work a field, a mixture of both probably.

Randy, my beloved hubbie, on the other hand was retained by a farmer who “fired” the other boys because they ditched the hot fields in lieu of a cool dip in the nearby pond. Yes, he has a history of walking entire bean fields by himself……ahhh…..could you do that?

Image result for tall corn tassel cartoon

Iowa Corn Stalks are Way Tall!

My first official job – with a real bonafide paycheck – was at Rocky’s Pizza as a food server (waitress is what we called it in the 70s, duh!) Rocco “Rocky” LaValle, (our guest speaker at our 30th class reunion dinner in July 2011) hired many young people in town to work for at the joint…much history!  The skills to work as a food server are aplenty.  Click here for more information.

Rocky!

Often, the incredible images I find online (my disclaimer) are perfect for expressing my memory.  Not sure of which year, but Rocky’s moved to a beautiful new location on Washington where you could really see the pizza making action in the front window!

I worked at the original location in about  1978 at ~ $1.85 hour,  plus tips of course! There’s a Facebook page about The History of Iowa Falls that gives great historical information about Rocky’s . What’s cool is how many past workers, including myself, post our memories!

Original Rocky’s Pizza

Along with the pizza joint, I also worked as a food server at an “upscale” fine dining restaurant – The Chateau.  Actually, it was a brick mansion on Rockyslvania “converted” into a restaurant. This food server work required a tweak on approaching customers and serving food, and I enjoyed it greatly.  I wore a black and white uniform and got to serve beer and wine!  At this restaurant, I learned the art of salad making, and eating left-over crab legs (I know, I know, right off a used plate – ugg again!).  

There’s a picture somewhere of me in my uniform, ready to go to work. Mary Dunlay, remember working together as food server extraordinaires?! The upstairs was for special dinner parties, which wasn’t too convenient…let alone accessible!

On the flip side of “fine dining” establishment and fast food (I worked at Hardees too for a time), with food serving experience working at a small truck stop in the country called The Junction north of Iowa Falls on the way to Hampton.  I remember some of my favorite customers, Chris, the cute and old farmer who always wore overalls. He always tipped! Along with serving, food preparation,  clean up, replenishment of food products and dining items, my favorite job responsibility was operating the industrial dishwasher!

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One rockin’ dishwasher! 

Alice the Cook was Queen! She taught me a lot! Her bench, dedicated to her as she was quite a fisher person, is along the Iowa River in Foster Park, Iowa Falls, Iowa).

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Umm, making the incredibly yummy malts, the leftovers!

I loved working at The Junction truck stop!  So cool my brother worked next door at the stop’s fuel filling facility.  My brother Steven – I love you…RIP.  One hard worker…!

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Stop! Now Follow Me!

I also have work experience working as a  heavy road construction flagger, the person who moves the stop sign to control traffic.  I remember some interesting motorists who long ago passed through….! And I also drove the follow-me truck, But that got un-nerving to me as each time I made a back and forth pass through the zone, the [male] construction workers would stop and stare at me…how silly of them. ? Would’ve that been sexual harassment on the job? Nahh, these were just the big old road crew boys…! I just thought it was annoying, and just wanted to do my driving job!

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Machine Operator and Forklift Operator! I loved it!

Additionally over the course of my early work history, I worked light industrial at the Alden Corn Processing plant in both the corn processing facility…standing at a de-shucking machine and shoving ears of corn through; and in the packing facility….working at the labeling conveyor as well as shrink wrapping pallets, and watching out for the fast moving forklifts. I was trained and did drive a forklift!

I held other good jobs at the Red Rooster Grill as a waitress, at Kmart as a cashier and at Hardees as a fast food service worker. All links provide further information on transferable skills!

In the summer of 1981 I took a nurse aide training course.  Following the training and upon receiving the certificate to be a Certified Nurse Aide, I was hired at Ellsworth Community Hospital.    I gained experience working on each shift over the course of my employment.  Each shift has its unique characteristics.  Talk about gaining incredibly valuable nursing skills.

On to nursing school……..stayed tuned….as I explore my past…..and realize it turned into a passion for job placement.

Stayed tuned for Part 3

Original publication date: November 28, 2011

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

How did I Get Into Rehab Counseling? Here’s a Little Story

To understand my passion for rehabilitation counseling (my beloved career), let me first tell you a little about myself.

HERE IS MY STORY – Part 1:

As a September baby  – a Virgo!

I was born in 1963 in Libertyville, Illinois, into a hard working family.  My parents are from Chicagoland.  During my infancy and toddlerhood, my family lived in a small house in Mundelein, Illinois.  My father Richard “Dick” Prochnow worked for Sears Roebuck and Co earlier, and then later hired on with Culligan Soft Water.  He would end up working for the company for many, many years.

My mother Ann Dodge Prochnow cared for their five children (we are each 13-15 months apart!) and I am the “baby” of the family. Siblings are Julia born January 1959, Michael March 1960, Janice April 1961, Steven July 1962 and me Amy in September 1963. Ann & Dick’s first child, Richard, died in infancy in 1955, the same year my parents were married.

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Mom from Northbrook and dad from Buffalo Grove

Culligan promoted Dick to management and moved him (along with the crew later on) to Davenport, Iowa in 1966 and later we relocated to Battle Creek, Michigan when I was a preschool age, before moving to Iowa Falls, Iowa in 1968 and settling in. I started kindergarten at age 4.

The Scenic City

I’ll expand on my family and their work in another post.  Read all about it!  But on to me (well, I am the one posting this on my website!)

In a nutshell:   I was in a serious car/train accident in June 1979, the summer before my 11th grade.  I was 15 years old. I was a passenger in a car, sitting in the back seat. The car slammed into the train, and me, well, my body through the bucket seats and the nonexistent windshield with my head being smashed into a bolt on a box car. But the creepier thing is the train actually started to move, as the conductor was moving it into the yard. Of course, I had no idea what was going on at all. Thank God.

The car was totaled.  There were 3 other people in the car, all who sustained serious injuries, but we all lived. I used to have a disdain for the make and model of that green car, however in a sense it did save my life.

The train stopped moving, having only traveled a few years, stopping inches from a culvert. A passing car with a young couple came upon us. And for me, what I know now, is that a woman named Teri saved my life. Thank you Teri.

I was first transported by ambulance to Ellsworth Municipal Hospital to the ER and then moved by ambulance. I was hospitalized (in Mason City, Iowa) for a week with a broken right arm (ulna and radius), numerous lacerations, and a severe head wound requiring extensive plastic surgery.  We’re talking a lot of stitches, and bruises. I don’t remember any of this time in the hospital until I came out and was clearly doing better…

The accident kinda screwed up my life at that time (sure wish I had a rehab counselor to work with me!)  I dropped out of high school ½ way through 11th grade.  At the time, my mother  was working at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls in the placement office.  She “forced” me to enroll at the college, which I did reluctantly.  I was 17.  I first had to take the GED and pass!

State of Iowa High School Equivalency Diploma ~ Amy Elizabeth Prochnow November 10, 1981

After this positive life event, I moved on and audited courses at ECC ~ Ellsworth Community College (with much older classmates).  I then enrolled officially and took secretarial coursework….and in 1981 also graduated with a certificate in secretarial science.

To clarify these dates, 1981 was the year I should have graduated with my original high school classmates.  But instead, I went to college with “older” people, and my sister Janice Prochnow, two years older than me. I think we had one class together.

In the ECC Class of 1981 program below I’m listed under the first section, One Year Secretarial, the fifth student.  Janice, her name is the second to last column under the last section of the program titled Associate Degree Diploma, has 3 asterisks *** because she received honors and was a mid-term graduate.

Other people in the program are a couple friends who Janice graduated high school with in 1979, Patti Rieber, Janet Roozen and Melinda Rutzen. I remember being in class with some of the ECC male (read tall to me) basketball players!

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Here’s a picture of me and my older sister Julie Prochnow who is five years older than me, on the day we both graduated in October 1981.  (No picture of me and Janice for some reason, at least that I have!) I graduated from ECC with my secretarial science certification and Julie did from Iowa State University in recreational studies.

Notice Julie’s honor cords –  valedictorian!

After this robe wearing event, time to move on again!

Stayed tuned for Part 2

 

Nov 21, 2011 original publish date

 

___________________

 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.