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McKenna Gehner | Faces of Midland


A Fast-Paced Team |

For senior McKenna Gehner, there is an appeal to being a part of a team in a fast-paced environment. In these environments, instantaneous reactions, critical thinking, and innate communication require a certain level of synergy within the team that other teams don’t necessarily need. Growing up, McKenna found this in hockey.

“I enjoy the quick pace of hockey. I have always been in that type of team atmosphere. And I think that it’s even better when you are surrounded with people who share that same passion. That type of a team relationship can be so special.”

Having played hockey for nearly fifteen years, McKenna began her journey in hockey young. In high school, she attended a college-prep boarding school that allowed her to continue to develop as a player. When it came time for college, Midland allowed her to continue her career in hockey. 

“I have always liked the small school community, and I wanted to be back closer to home. Midland allowed me to continue playing hockey and pursue nursing, and that was the ideal situation for me. Being in both the nursing program and hockey at Midland has developed a level of resilience in me that I don’t think I would have gotten somewhere else.”

At Midland, McKenna has watched her team continue to grow closer and closer. As her senior year draws to a close, she is incredibly moved by where the team has come. They have developed the necessary synergy to make it far in the season.

“I think my team this year has been the most successful and has had the best environment in my four years here. It has been a great way to end my four years, seeing my team grow and find success in that.”

Upon graduation, McKenna will be trading in one fast-paced team for another. A nursing major during her time at Midland, McKenna has accepted a job in the ER at Methodist Fremont Health. With aspirations to be in life flight, McKenna views the ER as a similar environment to hockey, where synergy as a team is key.

“I was drawn to the ER because I think that its fast-paced environment goes hand-in-hand with my experience in hockey. I have been told a lot that I have a calm presence in the net as a goalie, and I think that is going to be important for me working in the ER. In those stressful situations, the patients read off of how I am reacting, so it will be important for me to continue to have that calm demeanor and make sure that they feel comfortable.”

 In her new job, McKenna ultimately wants to be able to care for people. Being a part of a larger team, she recognizes that her role extends beyond her individual interactions with patients and how she operates within the larger whole. In this sense, she is eager to begin the next chapter of her life. 

“I try to be genuine with people. You have to put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself how you would want to be treated. I want to be the type of healthcare worker that genuinely gives their all for the people they treat, no matter who their patients are.”

McKenna Gehner is a senior nursing major from Sioux City, IA. To share your story or nominate a friend, email or post using #FacesofMidland.

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