Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
The new nursing building at Lamar State College-Orange has boosted morale and awareness of the program for students currently enrolled there.
Ruth Mabry has been part of the Lamar State College-Orange nursing program since January. She is targeting a December graduation date with an LVN certification and wants to use the experience she receives from the program to find a good job.
“I have two daughters and I want them to see their mom as independent and successful,” Mabry said. “That’s very important to me. Going to school here and being part of this program will help me achieve that goal.”
Mabry, 35, a former resident of Orangefield and Vidor and current resident of Lumberton, has always had an interest in nursing which dates back to her childhood.
“My grandmother was a nurse, so I was always close to it through her,” she explained. “And I’ve grown up being a natural care-giver. My mother passed away when I was little, so I helped take care of my younger siblings. It just comes natural now.”
Mabry enrolled in the nursing program during the fall 2012 semester, but she held no expectations of being able to close out her nursing studies in a new, state-of-art, 32,000 square foot facility.
“Several of us hear rumors of a new building being built when we were accepted, but we didn’t know for sure until we got here and saw the construction,” she added. “It’s immaculate, and the simulation lab is amazing. Having this facility will be a big benefit to Lamar State College-Orange and it will hopefully be a big boost to the nursing program, once everyone hears what the school has to offer.”
Ervin Thomas is a first semester student in the Lamar State College-Orange nursing program. He has spent plenty of time in the real world, but he decided to go back to school to pursue a career which he has been interested in since childhood.
“I lost my dad to a heart attack when I was young,” Thomas, age 39, said. “I always wanted to know why it happened and what some of the signs were where maybe it could have been prevented.”
Thomas, a resident of Port Arthur, previously worked for the City of Port Arthur as an animal control officer. However, as much as he liked serving the citizens of his community, it was time for something different.
“It was time for a change,” he added. “And I like helping people.”
When he enrolled in the program, Thomas was unaware of the ongoing construction of the new nursing building on the LSC-O campus. On the first day of school at the start of the fall semester, Thomas was amazed at the pristeen facility.
“It’s a big, beautiful building. I learned in those first few days how amazing it was,” he explained. “It has everything in it we will need to know about to learn and use as experience in a hospital setting. It has a medication room with a Pxyis machine to dispense medicine, and the skills lab with the hospital beds and mannequins, which can be programmed to talk and with symptoms, make for a very life-like situation.”
Thomas is working on his goal of earning his LVN certification and will then continue toward his RN. Through it all, he will utilize the skills and knowledge he gains while attending Lamar State College-Orange as an end to that objective.
“This program and this new building will help give new nursing students the experience we need to be successful,” he said. “It will break the ice for us, so to speak, because it will give us the feel of what to actually expect in a real job setting.”