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My Job: Kelly Mecham

Severe cold coming on? Injured ankle? Does your kid need a sports physical? Meet the nurse practitioner you're likely to see at the Wellness Center clinics.
People  |  Jul 7, 2014  |  By Paige Frank
Kelly Mecham, nurse practitioner at the Student Health Center. (Aaron Mayes/UNLV Photo Services)

Kelly Mecham sets the sick and injured back on the road to good health as a nurse practitioner at the Faculty and Staff Treatment and Student Health centers. Mecham has worked in her "dream job" for two years, part of a team of doctors, nurses, and other health care providers who offer affordable, convenient medical care for the campus community.


What would make your day perfect?

My perfect day is when we are able to make a difference for a patient. We often see patients very much in need of health care. This may be because a patient may not be able to get in to see their own health care provider when needed or because of financial constraints. Sometimes we may be able to save a patient from a costly ER visit. Other times, we are able to facilitate a patient being seen elsewhere. I absolutely love it when I see patient who is feeling better after receiving care here.

What's the biggest misconception about your job?

Some people believe that our services are just for students. We are also here for faculty, staff, and dependents age 5 years and older.

What's the quirkiest tool of your trade?

I don't want to scare people, but the quirkiest tool I use is an anoscope. You might infer what it is used for by its name. This tool of the trade is used sparingly and tenderly.

What's your best piece of advice for students?

Invest in your health. A healthy lifestyle, good diet, and staying active benefit a person in so many ways. It makes one feel more energetic and capable.

What's the story behind your favorite workspace tchotchke?

It is a picture of my corgi dog, Danger, sporting bunny rabbit ears. We tried to convince my nephews he was the Easter bunny but they were having none of it.

What's been the most rewarding aspect of your life?

My three stepchildren have chosen careers in health care. Each is very successful.

If you weren't working here, what would you be doing?

I would still be working as a nurse practitioner. I do prefer to work in nonprofit organizations that focus on populations in need of care.

Dream vacation?

I still want to visit Sweden, land of my ancestors, and St. Petersburg, Russia.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I really enjoy fishing -- have been hooked since I was a kid.

Who do you want to thank for the job they do on campus?

Our custodial crew is incredibly pleasant and they make the work environment sparkle.

If you were given a $1 million grant to make a campus improvement, start a new program, or improve one we already have, where would you put that money?

I would want to use it to develop a comprehensive weight management program.

How can others on campus make your job easier?

Get the word out about the FAST Center. We are located in the Student Recreation and Wellness Center on the first floor, and we have appointments available daily.