From the time Tyara Nevels, ’14, stepped foot on Meredith’s campus, she knew she wanted to be a physical therapist. But an internship in the Cardiac Rehab Program at Wake Med changed her life.
“My last semester at Meredith, I had to pick an internship. I had the option of interning at Wake Med or with a PT clinic. My professors encouraged me to interview for the internship at Wake Med. I reluctantly interviewed, but I enjoyed every second. I enjoyed it so much I switched career paths,” said Nevels.
With a newfound passion, Nevels graduated from Meredith with a degree in exercise and sports science before earning a master’s degree in kinesiology from East Carolina University. She currently works as an exercise physiologist in the Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab Department at Moses N. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro, N.C.
“This is a highly supervised program with telemetry that helps patients with pulmonary disease or recent cardiac events, such as heart attacks, heart failure, valve repair/replacement, and open heart surgery, regain their strength and live a heart healthy lifestyle,” said Nevels. “I build personalized exercise prescriptions for these high risk patients and assist with supervising their exercise sessions.”
In her role, she works with a variety of patients, from senior citizens to young adults. Seeing her patients become physically stronger and able to return to previous activities is most rewarding.
She credits the relationships she built with faculty and staff for making her the professional she is today.
“The professor mentorship I received at Meredith really prepared me, not only for my current position, but for getting into graduate school. I still have those relationships today,” said Nevels. “Building relationships with my patients is a huge part of what I do, and that professor mentorship taught me the value and importance of building lifelong relationships and trust with the patients you are trying to help.”
Nevels’ advice to others interested in working in the field: “Always be open-minded and flexible. Always be willing to try new things and places. Stay abreast on the current trends in the field and build strong relationships with colleagues and professors. Certifications are your friend.”