Alum's Past Predicts
When Kirstin Carlson '02
became an emergency room nurse in the Air Force, no one was very surprised.
Her mother was a nurse and her father was in the military, so there seemed
to be a certain sense of destiny for her career path.
"I told myself I'd never
become a nurse," she recalled, "but God had other ideas for me."
The Titusville, Florida,
native finished her nursing degree in 2002 and accepted a position in the
emergency room at St. James Hospital in Olympia Fields, Illinois. Carlson
has been stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, since
October 2003. Being in an unpredictable, fast-paced environment where her
input always has significance motivates her to do her best.
"I love the spontaneity of
the emergency room," she said. "There is not a day I work when I don't
have the opportunity to make a difference in someone's life.
"One key principle I learned
at Trinity was how to bring my faith into the workplace. People look at
actions, so the way I present myself is very important. My co-workers know
that I'm a Christian; they know that my beliefs are an integral part of
who I am. Part of my work is serving others, and that's also a big part
of my faith."
Working as a military nurse
keeps her busy, but Carlson would not have it any other way.
"I have two jobs: my first
obligation is to the Air Force as an officer, then to the medical unit
as a nurse," she said. "I went through commissioned-officer training, which
focused more on professionalism and leadership. I didn't learn any combat
techniques because I don't engage in battle."
In her spare time, Carlson
likes to watch movies and read. The intense atmosphere in the emergency
room leaves her eager to find solitude.
"I spend a lot of time with
my two boxers," she said. "There is a lot of action at work, so when I'm
at home, I want (serenity)."
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