Some students prepare for jobs in their field by taking internships, participating in a field experience or doing a job shadow. Dustin Lode does something a little bit different: he volunteers as a paramedic.
“Working as an EMT, you never know when a call is going to come in,” said Lode. “You never know when you’re going to get a call at 3 in the morning when you have school at 9.”
Lode, a sophomore nursing major, earned his Associate of Applied Science in Paramedics from Kirkwood Community College before transferring to Mount Mercy where he is technically considered a sophomore. He is in his fourth semester in the nursing program. He juggles his nursing classes with his job at Olive Garden and his volunteer EMT position with Center Point Ambulance Service.
Lode sees many potential uses for his degree in nursing. He is considering either obtaining a Master of Science in nursing, becoming a nurse practitioner, a nursing teacher or opening his own business.
“That’s why I chose Mount Mercy (for nursing) instead of Kirkwood,” said Lode. “I can get my bachelor’s degree and move on to the next step.”
If he were to ever open his own business, Lode said it would most likely be a home healthcare business that focuses on preventative health care rather than curative.
“That’s what I love about nursing,” he said. “There’s just so much you can do with it.”
This desire to open a business has come from a love of working with the elderly population.
“I love geriatrics—they’re my favorite,” said Lode. “They have experienced so much of life and they have so much to tell you.
His work in the field as a paramedic has also pushed his interest into geriatrics rather than pediatrics.
“Babies and pediatrics—I’ve seen many babies die, and it’s something that seems unnatural to me,” said Lode. “As to geriatrics, they’ve lived their lives, and it’s just very nice to help them on their way to the next step, whatever that may be.”
This Student Profile has been edited for web and originally written by Cassie Paulson, Feature Editor, and published in the Mount Mercy Times during the 2013-14 academic year.