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Unleashed — Confidence (Pablo Garcia)

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For Pablo Garcia, getting accepted into the Nurse Anesthesiology program came as a sigh of relief. Not only does the national acceptance rate hover at 26 percent according to the website Everything CRNA, but the duty and responsibility associated with the role can be daunting. 


“A lot of people will feel a lack of confidence at first because it’s a high-stakes career. We have to take care of people’s lives,” says Garcia. 


A key factor in Garcia’s decision to attend the Michigan State University College of Nursing was the confidence instilled in him by Nurse Anesthesiology Program Director Dr. Gayle Lourens. 


In what is traditionally considered a high-stress educational environment, Garcia describes how her uplifting demeanor and teaching style brings out the best in each of her students. 


“Dr. Gayle Lourens is very good at picking out the strongest assets in our nursing career and being able to build confidence into those assets,” Garcia continues. “She implements a style of learning that ignites confidence and a calming presence in the clinical field.” 


Prior to entering his first clinical site, Garcia, who is now in his second year of the program, met with Lourens to discuss his feelings of anxiety and uneasiness about the program.


Lourens, who prides herself in creating a welcoming and warm environment for her students, laid Garcia’s worries to rest. 


Lourens prepares her students by providing them an entire semester to practice their skills in a simulated environment, which isn’t guaranteed by other programs across the country. 


“What does it take to excel in nursing? Confidence." —Pablo Garcia


“We hear from our clinical providers who are teaching the students that they develop an intense confidence in their ability to function as student nurse anesthetists, as opposed to someone who doesn’t have that opportunity,” says Dr. Lourens. 


Garcia’s arrival at the college has been a long, admirable journey.  


As a child, Garcia and his siblings left their native country of Guatemala with their mother, who had dreams of pursuing an education and providing better opportunities for them.  


Witnessing her hard work and sacrifice in the midst of pursuing a doctorate degree serves as a source of motivation to Garcia to this day.  


“Raising a family of four while working 60-plus hours per week on her doctorate degree was no easy task. I watched her sacrifice time, weekends, sleep, social life and every other aspect of her life,” says Garcia. “My mom has instilled in me the confidence of pursuing goals in life, and that every goal that is worth achieving in life requires sacrifice, commitment and much effort.” 


Garcia’s educational pursuit is also fueled by his desire to give back. 


Through medical mission trips, Garcia has provided care to those in need both internationally and domestically. During these trips, he identified anesthesia care as one of the greatest needs in impoverished communities. 


“Going on those trips, I quickly realized that a lot of patients needed minor surgeries and anesthesia was a key component to completing them,” he continues, “It just so happened that no one on our team was able to provide anesthesia appropriately for those patients.” 


Though he is unsure of his exact plans after graduation, caring for underserved populations is a personal requirement, wherever that may be.  


With a considerable amount of life experience and over one year of the Nurse Anesthesiology Program under his belt, Garcia is ready for what lies ahead. 


“What does it take to excel in nursing? Confidence,” he says.


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