Accidents lead him to new field

by Kayla Stai
Special to the Star News

A typical work day for a recent Minnesota School of Business graduate included stringing a few new fishing rods, a trip to the local bait shop, and an afternoon navigating clients on Mille Lacs Lake to the best fishing spots. For most Minnesotans, spending their work day as a fishing guide would be like hitting the jackpot — and this past fishing guide didn’t complain when he had the gig; however, a series of life-changing events left him wanting more.

Elk River resident Jared Nelson never thought he would be spending portions of the year 2000 in and out of surgeries and spending his days in intensive therapy; however, a serious car accident sent him to the emergency room with critical injuries to his stomach and left knee.

Four years later after being almost fully rehabilitated, Nelson was hit again — this time injuring his right knee and multiple body parts. Nelson spent the remainder of the year in surgeries again, followed by physical therapy.

In 2006 (two years later), Nelson was involved in his third accident — this time, while riding his motorcycle. This new accident brought more surgeries and physical therapy once again.

By the time Nelson recuperated for a third time, his knees and stomach had been operated on more than 10 times and he had spent months in a hospital being cared for by doctors, nurses and medical assistants.

Nelson said that it was his accumulated time in the hospital and being taken care of by the people there that made him develop an interest for the health-care industry.

“I decided I wanted to help patients like me, but do a better job than some of the care that I received,” said Nelson.

This new passion led Nelson to start the medical assistant program at Minnesota School of Business in Elk River, which he successfully completed last month with an Associate in Applied Science degree.

Upon graduation, Nelson was immediately hired as a medical assistant by a clinic, where he completed his externship. He says his future plans include undertaking the health care management program and starting his education to become a physician’s assistant.