Caroline Nolan, BA Th, M Th, MACP, LSS, PhD

Clinical health care professional, Canada

As a student of Sociology at Maynooth University 1992-1995 I learned how to gather and interpret data. Experimentation and acquisition of facts were important elements in many courses. Little did I think that this academic training would take me to Canada where I work as a Clinical Chaplain in Critical Care Medicine (ICU, Burns and Emergency), University of Alberta Hospital, Edmonton, Canada. The assessment skills that I learned in Sociology gave me the ability to shift through medical charts and glean relevant information in order to verify my theory or assumptions as to how best to help patients and their family members in times of crisis, difficult diagnosis, loss and life transitions. Working closely with other allied Health Care Professionals such as Social Workers and Psychologists, has been easy given the terminology and course content of many of my Sociology courses. The courses have been of considerable value not only for my clinical work but also for my clinical teaching and research as part of my work with the Faculty of Medicine, University of Alberta. After my studies in Maynooth, I did graduate work in Italy, Israel, Austria and Canada. My personal experiences in these countries were definitely enriched due to Sociology courses such as world cultures, politics and global media. In these courses I was taught how to interpret and critically analyze what information is being put forward and how to come to my own understanding of its purpose and meaning for my life and those around me. Overall, I would say that my initial studies at Maynooth University, particularly within the discipline of Sociology, has been very much a key to my successful acculturation into Canada as a Clinical Health Care Professional and Irish-Canadian Citizen.