About Shauna Wheeler

When Shauna Wheeler was a first-year Health Sciences major at Russell Sage College, a supervisor from Sampson’s Prosthetic and Orthotic Laboratory visited her Intro to Health Professions class. 

The guest speaker talked about his work consulting with patients and fabricating prostheses.

“His presentation sparked my interest,” said Shauna, “so I reached out to him and ended up going to shadow at Sampson’s a handful of times.”

Today, Shauna is a clinical assistant for the prosthetists and orthotists at Sampson’s — and she’s preparing for the exam to become a Certified Prosthetist Assistant.

Every workday is different, she said, and might involve seeing patients and helping to analyze their gait and adjust their prostheses, or fabricating prostheses in the lab.

Shauna said her Health Sciences classes and an internship at Whitney Young Health Center helped her visualize all the different career options she could pursue with a Health Sciences degree and — most importantly — to begin her career at Sampson’s well prepared. 

“Medical Ethics with Gail Hughes-Morey expanded my views on interacting with others with contradicting opinions and how complex medical decisions can be,” she said. 

A medical research class “pushed me to question things deeply and seek answers from a reputable source,” she continued. “This class also improved my writing and overall knowledge of the research process.”

And of course, she’s very grateful to the professor who taught the Intro to Health Professions class that led to her career: “Karen Balter is wonderful and an excellent teacher,” she said. 

Shauna called Russell Sage College’s downtown Troy campus “beautiful and unique” and said those qualities, coupled with a competitive financial aid package, attracted her to Sage. 

As for her Health Sciences major, she said she’d always been interested in science and the human body, but ultimately wanted a career that would help people. 

She’s found exactly that. 

“A highlight of my job is seeing patients who may come in unable to walk without pain or discomfort, and, after some adjustments to their prostheses, they leave the appointment walking comfortably,” she said.