Honoring God Through Nursing – Student Reflection

Post by Amanda Couch, junior nursing major

Amanda Couch portraitExperiencing nursing school has taught me many things such as dedication, empathy, and faithfulness. Most importantly, I am learning to rely upon the Lord for my strength and peace, because every source other than Jesus is too easily depleted in comparison with the infinite depths of Christ’s love and grace — a fact I need reminding of every single second of every single day.

Honestly, nursing school is hard, making it tempting to complain; yet, it’s in those moments that I need God’s grace to remind me of what a blessing it is to be called to become a nurse and what a privilege it is to attend a school like Union that is dedicated to the spiritual wellbeing and professional success of its students.

Being a nurse affords the special opportunity to work one-on-one with a person who is often going through one of the worst parts of his or her life. In those moments of pain and suffering, the patient is looking for a source of assurance, pain relief, and explanation of what is going on and what is to be expected in the hours to come. It’s the nurse’s privilege to anticipate and meet these physical and psychological needs.

Yes, this may mean fulfilling the doctor’s orders for such things as medication administration or IV insertion, but it also entails meeting the seemingly “smaller” needs of patients such as simply being there for them and listening with an empathetic spirit or holding their hand during a painful procedure. For example, I still remember my first patient teaching me to place the rolling bedside table back in its original position prior to leaving the room if the table had been moved during a procedure so that he could reach his possessions. Caring could also mean offering to help tidy up the patient’s appearance before having visitors if the patient is unable to do so.

The point is to show God’s love in everything we do, remembering Christ’s words found in Matthew 25:40: “As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (ESV). I would challenge you to identify specific and unique ways in which you can honor Christ in your chosen profession and then purposefully work “as for the Lord and not for men” every day of your life as you live as Christ’s ambassador (Colossians 3:23, ESV).

Union EDGE – It’s All About The Eggs

Post by Jennifer Graves, director of The Union EDGE

Recently I was at a family gathering and was asked about our Union EDGE Program and how it was going. We are teaching our students how to cook, and we had just had our very first cooking lab. For those who know me, I’m not the cooking teacher!   My assistant director, Kevin Ung, is the head chef for the Union EDGE program. The first lesson for our students was cooking eggs. Kevin demonstrated to his eager students how to scramble eggs, fry eggs, make eggs over-easy, and how to make an omelet. Each person chose the type of eggs that he or she wanted to make, and there were examples of each type.   Ethan likes his eggs fried. Seth wanted scrambled. Taylor does not really like eggs, but had fun making them. All eight students enjoyed learning a new skill. You see, the EDGE program is all about building independence. It is about teaching skills that will allow our students to be productive, independent, and safe in the community that we all share.

Two EDGE students enjoy learning to cook eggs in class

Back to the family gathering. As I shared all about the program and what it meant to each of our student students, one person said, “It really is all about the eggs.” Yes, it is. EDGE is about eggs last week, sandwiches the next, and vegetables in the near future. It is about living life.

Jennifer Graves is the director of the new Union EDGE program, which is a two year, 48-hour Postsecondary Education Program for students with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (IDD). This program is based on the Think College national standards. To find out more, check out our website. Below are some photos taken during EDGE events.

Union EDGE employees

Kelsey laughs with her mentors during the kick-off event.

Faculty mingle with EDGE students during the kick-off event The first group of Union EDGE students Blanche participates in a music therapy lesson with her mentors Maria participates in an art therapy lesson with her mentors Seth participates in an art therapy lesson with his mentors. Faculty and staff mingle with EDGE students at a shower hosted by the first lady of the university.

First Year at UU – Adjusting to Life in the US

Yee Eun Lee headshot

Post by Yee Eun Lee, freshman pre-professional major

During the first four months at Union, I have made the biggest transition of my life. I didn’t realize how difficult and exciting it would be not only to live on my own, but also to live in a new country.

I have travelled all the way from the Philippines to come to Union University. Having lived in the Philippines for 19 years, I have to say, adjusting to America was quite challenging. I remember having difficulty adjusting to the deep-fried food. Even though I love eating anything that is deep-fried, the sudden change in diet was a shock to my system. Also, when I was talking to my fellow freshmen friends, I could understand them perfectly until I heard someone with a Southern accent. I could only pick up a couple of phrases and words they would say, but overall, I had no clue what they were saying. Another major difficulty I faced was seasonal changes in Jackson. Since the Philippines is a tropical country, it only has two seasons: rain and more rain. As the weather here in Jackson is slowly getting colder, I always have to wear at least three layers of clothes to keep me warm between my walks to PAC from my dorm.

Yee Eun Lee and her friends

Despite the difficulties I had in adjusting to America, I have been able to adjust smoothly, thanks to my Union family. Many of the upperclassmen helped me adjust to America by mapping out where the banks, restaurants, grocery stores and convenience stores are located. They were always willing to give me rides and even tell me crazy stories of their adventures around town. Other international students also helped me adjust by telling me the struggles that they went through during their freshman year. My roommates have also been amazing, because they continuously cheer me on and make me laugh with their jokes and fear of spiders.

I am blessed to have experienced even the difficult times, because through them I have grown so much. I have learned that no matter how hard our current situation is, God will always provide a way. This doesn’t mean that I have fully adjusted to America; in fact, I don’t know if I will ever fully adjust. One thing I know for sure is that God has placed me at Union University with many people who care, and I am truly blessed to be a part of the Union family.

Photos of Yee Eun Lee with her friends at Union