New nurses, newlyweds, new CUW alum.
What better couple to celebrate American Heart Month and the “month of love” than with the Sanchezes? December 2021 graduates Suzi (Talley) and Trevor Sanchez met when they were in first and second grade. The two stayed close through elementary and middle school and started dating the summer before their respective junior and senior years of high school. They got engaged in July of 2019 in the same spot where they had their first date. The Sanchezes got married June 26, 2020 and graduated in December of 2021. As recent CUW alumni, they are just getting their vocational footing beneath them while serving as nurses. These two know how to care for the heart—both in their professional lives and personal lives.
Q: When did you each know you wanted to be a nurse?
Suzi: I have always wanted to be a nurse since I was a little girl, specifically a labor and delivery nurse.
Trevor: I didn’t know I wanted to pursue nursing until I had already started at CUW. I always knew I wanted to do something in the medical field and I was actually a rehab science pre-PT major when I started college.
Q: Why nursing?
Suzi: The United States have very high maternal mortality ratios with huge racial disparities compared to other developed countries. I always wanted to be a part of that change by advocating for my patients and providing the best care.
Trevor: Nursing has so many different career paths to pursue which was very appealing to me. From community nursing to critical care and flight, there are so many possibilities.
Q: Why CUW?
Suzi: I came to visit CUW when I was a senior in high school to visit Trevor during his freshman year. During that visit, I felt so at home. Every person I talked to was so welcoming and kind. I loved how CUW was rooted in Christ and all the professors really cared for their students.
Trevor: I grew up going to an LCMS church and I had always heard about Concordia. CUW was the second closest Concordia to us just after Concordia in Chicago and I decided to come for a visit day. I loved the small campus feel and of course fell in love with the view of the lake!
Q: How did CUW’s mind, body, spirit approach to education influence how you take to your work and personal life?
Suzi: Those are the three huge health categories, so when I am caring for my patients, it is my job to care for their mind, body, and spirit.
Trevor: Concordia did a good job of instilling in us the idea of holistic care that addresses mind, body, and spirit. As an ER nurse I see many patients across the lifespan that are having mental health crises.
These patients usually don’t need physical help, but need someone to care about their mental and emotional state. These cases can be very complicated and it has been helpful to have the holistic care background from Concordia. In my personal life this approach has helped me to navigate the stresses of nursing by finding positive ways to help me cope.
Q: What are the challenges and rewards of both being in the same career field?
Suzi: I think the best thing about having the same career as my spouse is that even though we are both in different specialties (emergency and labor & delivery), we both understand the complexity of being a nurse. It is such a rewarding job filled with so many happy moments, but it can also be very demanding, stressful, and sad. Having someone that you can talk to that completely understands those parts of the job makes dealing with those stressful times much easier. I think the only challenge is that we both work long hours and weird schedules that sometimes don’t line up.
Trevor: Suzi said it best!
Q: It’s National Heart Month. What piece of advice do you have to care for the heart?
Suzi & Trevor: One great way to care for your heart figuratively and literally is to try to decrease the stress in your life. You can do this by adding healthy habits into your daily schedule like exercising (even if it’s just a small walk), eating a well-balanced diet to fuel your body, going to church and reading your Bible to care for your spirit, and finding time to have some fun with friends and family.
Q: How is heart health the start of holistic health?
Suzi & Trevor: Your heart pumps blood to your whole body. Lots of things can cause your heart to not pump as effectively overtime like stress, poor nutrition, and even your dental health can affect your heart. Your heart’s health is affected by your spirit, body, and mind. You have to care for yourself in all these ways to keep your heart healthy.
Interested in the CUW nursing program? Learn more here!
— Madelyne Arrigoni is a senior studying English, Mass Communications, and Photography. She plans to graduate in 2022.
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