In this month’s beyond the sidelines, we meet Mandan head volleyball coach Anna Folk. When Anna is not leading the Braves, she works as a cardiovascular sonographer, which means she performs ultrasound imagining to evaluate different aspects of the heart.
Anna’s day job and night job could not be more different.
“People don’t come into the hospital for fun,” Folk said. “Coming to volleyball, this is a privilege that we get to do every day.”
In college and grad school, Anna was an exercise science physiology major.
“I really liked clinical settings,” Folk said. “I liked being in the hospital. I liked working with heart and vascular in that general anatomy region.”
For the past six year’s Anna’s day job has been a cardiovascular sonographer. She started in the cardiac stress lab.
“I started running stress test,” Folk said. “Getting people on treadmills and evaluating their EKGs for any abnormalities.”
Anna says this is a pretty important career.
“We are kind of the doc’s eyes and ears for the disease process,” Folk said.
Anna works eight and a half hour days then hustles over to Mandan to start volleyball practice before 5 p.m.
Anna said the staff she works with really helps when the team has matches out of town.
“We kind of all cover each other,” Folk said. “We have different shifts. They are seven of us that cover different shifts 7-5. We just got each other’s backs and help out when we are short-staffed or need extra help.”
There are a couple of traits that carryover between both jobs.
“Patient care,” Folk said. “Compassion and understanding of different walks of life.”
The same traits she tries to instill in her teams.
“A great opportunity to have fun and learn life skills,” Folk said.
Anna and the Mandan Braves are in a three-way tie for first place with Jamestown and Bismarck High. As fate would have it, Mandan faces Bismarck on Tuesday at Legacy at 7 p.m.