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Mitchell Lyons '13

Mitchell Lyons photo

Waukon, Iowa

"The Center for Health Science Education is so high-tech. When we work in the simulation lab, a faculty nurse supervises us from behind a glass wall and talks to us through a microphone whenever we need help."

How to succeed

"Always put your patients first. You want to be the most caring person that you can be."

When Mitchell needed a part-time job in high school, he chose the dietary unit at Good Samaritan Society, a nursing home in Waukon. He always liked helping people, and spending time with the residents led him into the health care profession. Mitchell became a certified nurse assistant and enrolled at St. Ambrose to pursue a career in nursing.

After he graduates, Mitchell wants to work in the operating room as a nurse anesthetist. "I watched some surgeries and I'm intrigued by the procedures. And I love math, which is important for nurse anesthetists. They calculate medication dosages to ensure patients remain under anesthesia during the surgery and to make sure they come to when it's over."

In his own words

Why St. Ambrose?

I fell in love with St. Ambrose as soon as I saw the campus and learned how small the nursing classes are. I'm from a small town and went to a small high school, so I like that St. Ambrose has a similar environment. There's one-on-one teacher time, and my instructors actually know my name. I asked my Foundations of Nursing Knowledge professor for academic scholarship recommendations, and she went out of her way to help me.

Why did you become a certified nurse assistant?

When I worked in the dietary unit during high school, I served the residents food and handed out drinks. I really enjoyed putting smiles on their faces. So much so that I took a class at a community college to become a CNA. Now I've worked at Good Samaritan Society for two years, and I go back during the summer breaks and holidays. As a CNA, I help the residents with their daily care-helping them wash up, transferring them to the bathroom and answering questions.

What have you learned about patient care?

In Foundations of Nursing Knowledge we learned about the different ways to respect our patients. Different cultures have different standards of health care. For example, in some cultures whole families make decisions about a patient's care. In typical American culture, it's more often the patient who chooses the care.

What has been your most challenging class?

Pathophysiology. It's all about the different symptoms and diseases of the body. There are a lot of diseases. But this information is vital, because you need to know how medications work.

What do you do in your free time?

I'm a member of the Student Nursing Association. I attend meetings to learn what's new in nursing. I'm a Eucharistic minister at the chapel on campus. I bring the offertory and distribute Communion. And I have a work study job at Galvin Fine Arts Center, selling tickets and ushering people into their correct seats. It's fun because I get to sit in on all the professional shows the school brings to campus.