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Christopher Dedmon

Perseverance and diligence equal success for Motlow student Chris Dedmon


Hard work is something that 25-year-old Motlow College student Christopher Dedmon is no stranger to.

When Christopher came to Motlow, he was already a seasoned college student, having graduated from Volunteer State Community College in 2008 with an associate of applied science degree in ophthalmic medical technology.

Ophthalmology is the branch of medicine that deals with the anatomy, physiology and diseases of the eye.

"I chose the field of ophthalmology after being unable to get into the radiology program at Vol State," Christopher explained. "I was accepted into the ophthalmic program and decided to go with it because it would give me some experience in the medical field."

After graduating, Christopher was still interested in continuing his medical education. While at work, he said he began to hear about Motlow's nursing program.

"I had heard about Motlow through friends at work and several people that had graduated as RN's (registered nurses) from Motlow," said Christopher. He added that he was encouraged and inspired also by his aunt, who is a nurse practitioner and has been in the medical filed for more than 30 years.

Christopher Dedmon practices on a mannequin with instructor Kimberly Hackney.

Not only does Christopher attend school during the week, he is the vice president of the Student Nurses Association and also holds down a part-time job with an ophthalmologist in Murfreesboro. He said that balancing both work and school can be challenging, but thanks to his Motlow advisor, Cathy Simpson, he has been able to maintain a productive class and work schedule.

"Ms. Simpson has been very helpful; in fact, all of my instructors are very helpful, "he said. "That's another reason why I chose Motlow over a bigger university - because that I knew that I would get that one-on-one interaction. If you feel that you are weak in a certain area, you can go to them and discuss how you can improve. You can email or talk with them and whatever it is, they do their best to help."

Christopher added that the help from his instructors has only helped to remind him why he chose the medical field in the first place.

"I love helping people," he said. "It means so much to help someone get better so that they are able to go on to a better quality of life."

Christopher has also lent a helping hand through the Student Nurses Association. He and others in the group provide level 1 students with a "survival guide."

"We are there for them like a big brother or sister, "he explained. "The best thing I was taught was the importance of counting on my classmates. To succeed in this program, you need to eat, sleep, and breathe it every day. And that's what we have tried to teach them."

Christopher said graduation will be significant in many ways. Not only will he be closing an important chapter in his life, but he will be one of only two family members involved in the medical field.

"I am one of a set of triplets," he said. "Out of three boys and one older brother, I am the only one who chose to go into the medical field. My aunt and I are the only two involved in the field, and that is something that is very special to me."

Christopher said his time at Motlow has encouraged him to continue his medical education after graduation.

"I hope to be an acute care nurse practitioner," he said. "The field for me is exciting and always changing. By attending Motlow, I know I am better prepared to reach my career goal."