Physician Assistant Student Treats COVID Patients like Family

Ashley Marx
June 12, 2020

Shielded from head to toe in personal protective gear whenever she is in contact with COVID-19 patients at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, NY, Ashley Marx remains resolute as she tends to those under her care.

“I must always be fully prepared to be able to help COVID patients and provide the highest quality of care that is expected of me,” she said. Ashley is a May 2022 candidate for a Master of Science degree in the Physician Assistant program at St. John’s University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

Her work at the hospital as an Emergency Department Technician while in the midst of the pandemic has firmly reinforced Ashley’s decision to prepare for a career in the medical field.

“I love working in a setting where I can change people’s lives for the better and care for people as if they were my own family,” said Ashley, who lives with her parents in Seaford, NY. “And right now, I have to fill that role of a family member for the patients who are unable to have their relatives at their bedsides because of the coronavirus.”

Ashley’s duties with all of the patients to whom she is assigned include performing a wide variety of tests, including electrocardiograms, taking vital signs, helping patients with their meals and hygiene needs, and restocking medical supplies.

“I know that every single day when I leave my shift, I have helped people and made a difference in large and small ways,” she said.

“I know now more than ever how essential my role is at the hospital. This job demands you to be selfless. You have to give all of yourself to help others.”

Since childhood, Ashley knew she wanted a career in the medical field. “And I knew I wanted to major in biology from the get-go,” said the student, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in 2018 from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT.

Of her decision to enroll at St. John’s, Ashley said she attended Catholic schools since her days at Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, NY, and always felt at home in that environment.

She is pleased St. Thomas More Church is conveniently situated at the University’s Queens, NY, location. “Having a church on campus where I can always go when I need some time to reflect, especially if I am having a rough day, has been a strong connection for me with St. John’s.”

Ashely Marx

In addition, she wanted to be part of the University’s Physician Assistant program, which she thinks is outstanding. “I was thrilled when I was accepted into this great program. When I was offered a spot, I thought, ‘Sign me up!’”

Ashley is impressed with the high level of support she and her fellow students receive from their professors, especially throughout the health crisis.

“My professors have really been so good at communicating with us and with continuing to care for their students. They have all been saying, ‘Reach out to us if you need anything,’” Ashley said. “That has been extremely reassuring.”