Vander Weit '97
Sharing God's Mercy
Joy Vander Weit feels inclined
to extend herself in a similar manner. In December, the 1997 nursing graduate
accepted a position as the clinical coordinator at RML Specialty Hospital
in Hinsdale, Illinois. RML treats older patients with long-term acute conditions
who require more attention than most nursing homes usually provide.
"We get most of our patients
from intensive care units of other hospitals around the area," she says.
"I go to some of these hospitals to evaluate patients clinically and also
assess their financial state to determine how RML can best help them."
Like most nurses, helping
people is Vander Weit's primary motivation. She does not slight the technical
aspect of her job, but she recognizes a social responsibility toward her
patients. Each day brings more opportunities to spend time with people
who need encouragement and a cheerful outlook.
"Every day I go to work,
I get an opportunity to share my Christianity with other people," she says.
"My job opens doors for me to meet people in need of health care and witnessing.
I see them in some of the worst situations, but I try to spend time talking
with them. They are receptive to that level of interaction, and I think
it helps them feel better."
Vander Weit is quick to offer
that kind of support to others because she experienced so much encouragement
while she was a full-time student at Trinity. At the same time, she was
also a single parent raising five children and working a full-time job.
"The Lord surrounded me with
some great people," she says. "My children were my biggest fans, my church
family kept me going, and the people at Trinity were fantastic. (Nursing
department chair) Cynthia Sander knew my situation and was very sensitive.
She showed me such a genuine spirit of compassion and care, and that's
what I try to show my patients.
"God gave me grace to keep
my nose to the grindstone when I was in school. I never lost sight of the
goal, and I continued to remind myself that when graduation came, all these
efforts would be well worth it."
Vander Weit purchased a class
ring from the College's bookstore to memorialize her journey. She wears
it everyday as a reminder of how far she has come, and it also elicits
conversations that allow her to share her testimony.
"My son calls it my Super
Bowl ring," she says. "I was very excited to graduate as a 'late learner,'
so I bought the ring as a tribute to what I had achieved. It also is great
PR for Trinity. When people see the ring and notice the cut in the stone,
they ask about it. That's my opening to explain how faithful God has been
to me and how He can be faithful to them."
A member of Trinity's alumni
board, Vander Weit completed work on her master's in nursing administration
at Lewis University in 2001. At Orland Park Christian Reformed Church,
she is nursing coordinator of the rest and caring ministry, which reaches
out to people who need meals, transportation, or simple companionship.
Now that she is an empty nester, she has more time and opportunities to
serve in her community. Her daughter Rebecca, a 2001 music graduate from
the College, is music administrator at the church as well.
Trinity served as a living
laboratory for all of these women to acquire the knowledge and ability
that helps them expand Christ's kingdom through their professions in health
"The College has an excellent
nursing program, and even though I was in one of its first classes to graduate,
it was highly touted throughout the region," Abel says. "When I applied
for jobs, people were impressed by my degree. The professors are well-schooled
and knowledgeable, and they convey that knowledge and experience generously.
"Most importantly, they give
the students individual quality time when it is needed. That example of
personal attention is a necessary ingredient in nursing, and it was modeled
effectively. I can't say enough about all that I learned at Trinity.
"It was everything that I
needed it to be."
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