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Dean's Blog | July 19, 2021

This is why we do what we do as health educators

Judith Karshmer

When’s the last time you stopped to take stock of the impact you’ve had on the people around you and how that plays out on a daily basis? 

For me, it’s been a while! But, when I learned of an experience one of our dear faculty members had this year it allowed me to pause and be reminded of why it is that we at Edson College do what we do: preparing health professionals to provide the best care possible across any health setting. 

Charlotte Thrall is an incredible asset to our community, working as a nurse practitioner, and to our college in her role as both a clinical assistant professor and the coordinator of our Family Nurse Practitioner, DNP program.

When she found herself in the emergency room with her husband after an accident left him unconscious and unresponsive, she was surprised to see one of her former students, a DNP graduate, on his care team.

Charlotte said having a familiar face in the room was comforting in such a stressful and scary situation. But beyond that, watching and experiencing the care and compassion provided by her former student firsthand left her totally impressed. And, Charlotte actually recognized some of the skills she had taught being used on her husband, and by association, her.

Talk about a full-circle moment! 

I share this because, with all that is required of us in health education, we can easily become entwined in the minutia and lose sight of how important our work really is. What we do matters not only to our students but to the patients, families and communities who will one day come in contact with our graduates, likely on the worst day of their lives.

We’re so grateful Charlotte’s husband is on the road to recovery and that he got the next best thing to the kind of care Charlotte would have provided, that of her former students to whom she taught so much.

Charlotte Thrall and her husband Billy pose for a photo

Charlotte and Billy Thrall. Photo courtesy of Charlotte