All in the Methodist El Centro Family

By David Molengraaf, RN
Methodist Charlton Medical Center

For me, Methodist Health System is a family affair. I believe so much in Methodist as a caring organization, not just its dedication to caring for patients but for the well-being of its caregivers as well. Methodist is committed to creating successful caregivers through its partnership with El Centro Community College, which is how I obtained my nursing degree. I loved it so much, I’ve referred five people to the program — most of whom are family members.

I graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, but had always envisioned myself as a nurse. I applied to nursing school and was accepted, but family economics didn’t allow me to continue. Instead, I became a police officer and joined the Army reserves. Throughout my 21 years of military service, I was deployed overseas several times. During that time, I married a wonderful woman. She was a nurse and my inspiration. When I retired from the service, I began working at Methodist Dallas Medical Center as a clinical secretary and telemetry technician. That was just the beginning.

I soon realized that I had a golden opportunity to complete my nursing education.
Thanks to the El Centro Community College and Methodist Nursing Program as well
as Methodist’s tuition reimbursement benefit, Methodist paid for my entire
nursing education.

After graduating with my nursing degree, my wife and I encouraged my sister to
consider a health care career. She took our advice, and today my sister is a pharmacy
tech supervisor at Methodist. I didn’t stop there. I urged my sister’s husband to become a nurse, and he just completed the El Centro and Methodist Nursing Program. My daughter couldn’t escape our family’s health care focus, either. She started in pre-med with the intention of becoming an anesthesiologist, but changed her mind. After considering how much career flexibility she’ll have as an RN, she’s now planning to start the El Centro

and Methodist Nursing Program in the fall. Her goal is to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist.

Why, you may ask, am I such a Methodist groupie? It’s simple. The organization is career-friendly, and I think they are doing the right thing for their patients, our community, and their staff.

While I initially found my niche in the medical-surgical intensive care units (ICU) at Methodist Dallas, I had always seen myself in a leadership role. With Methodist’s support, today I am a nurse manager in the ICU at Methodist Charlton Medical Center.

Why ICU? It’s a fast-paced environment. After serving in the police force and military, fast-paced is second nature to me. An ICU nurse has to develop quick critical-thinking skills in order to anticipate and immediately respond to the patient’s needs. He or she needs to be a team player, because it truly takes the entire team to successfully care for the patient. Working with patients’ family members, anticipating their needs, being empathetic with the emotional stress they are experiencing, and providing the support they need are all aspects of an ICU nurse’s role.

Methodist is an organization that values nurses. They foster a dynamic team environment where ideas and individual growth are supported. They are patient-driven, and we are appreciated.

If you’re ready to join a family of dedicated, caring professionals, then it’s time to choose Methodist Health System. Learn more by visiting

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