Administrators, faculty, fellow classmates and community members gathered in the new Dixie Technical College auditorium to celebrate a slew of health-care science graduates Wednesday.
The ceremony played out much like graduations do: Graduates were congratulated while they listened to administrators and professionals tell them all the possibilities that lie ahead of them.
What was unique about Dixie Tech’s health-care graduation, though, was the emphasis placed on the value of helping others.
Health care called a noble calling
According to keynote speaker Mark Evans, a member of Dixie Tech’s board of directors and an operations administrator for Intermountain Healthcare, the health-care field is a noble calling.
“You’ll have a very real impact on people during their most vulnerable times,” Evans told the graduates. “You’re going to have a front-row seat to the full extent of the human experience.”
Evans gave several examples from graduates and members of Dixie Tech’s programs. One nursing student, for instance, was shadowing a surgeon. She noticed something was wrong but hesitated before telling the surgeon.
“She had a decision to make,” Evans said. “The surgeon, to his credit, paused, thought about what she said, and thanked her for saving him from making a dramatic mistake.”
Evans’ moral of the story? Speak up.
Similarly, a nurse in the Dixie Regional Medical Center’s emergency department went out of her way to comfort a a grieving mother, he said.
The woman’s daughter, who had special needs, came into the emergency room in cardiac arrest. After several minutes of the medical team doing everything they could, the mother told the staff she didn’t want her daughter to suffer any longer, Evans recounted.
“This nurse was so kind and caring — she took the mother in her arms, offering her comfort and care. She held the mom while she was overcome with grief.”
Afterward, Evans said, the nurse quickly had a memory kit of the daughter’s hand made before the family left the hospital.
“It wasn’t in her job description, but she did it,” Evans said. “This is how we make the world a better place. We go above and beyond for others. … If you’re having a hard time, go help someone. It will help you. It will pick you up.”
Speaker touts importance of technical colleges
The ceremony’s student speaker, Ryan Friedel, a medical assisting program graduate, said he didn’t originally think he wanted to go into a health-care field. First, he worked in construction.
When he came home from serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Friedel said his mind had changed, and he wanted to study in the medical field, thinking “maybe he’ll like it.”
“The experiences I had were amazing,” he said. “They made me for sure know that I wanted to go to medical school.”
Friedel went on to talk about the importance of technical colleges in particular. He said they’ve made a “real difference” to countless people nationwide.
“They allow students to utilize their unique gifts and talents,” he said. “It allows them to go after their dreams without waiting.”
Earlier Wednesday, an industry graduation ceremony was held.
During Wednesday night’s ceremony, in addition to giving the graduating class wisdom and advice based on his decades in the health-care field, Evans also congratulated the class of 171 and the college’s administration and staff for the work they contributed to Dixie Tech’s new state-of-the-art campus. Evans said it took “blood, sweat and tears” to make the building a reality.
In closing, Evans told the graduates to tackle the most unpleasant things in life first.
“None of you are placed here to be average, you’re here to be extraordinary,” Evans said. “You are God’s gift to the world. Make it a good gift.”
Follow reporter Emily Havens on Twitter, @EmilyJHavens, and find her on Facebook at facebook.com/emilyjhavens. Call her at 435-674-6214 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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