Meet Susan Muenster, director of health services and registered nurse at the Buchanan-Kiewit Wellness Center.
A lifelong Wisconsite, Muenster was born in Stephenson, Wisc. and later moved to Waupaca. At an early age, she already knew that she wanted to pursue nursing. “I wanted to be a nurse since I was in 6th grade because I love to help people,” said Muenser. I’m a very caring and compassionate person and I just knew that was what I wanted to do.”
Susan graduated from nursing school in 1977, going on to work at the Wisconsin Veterans Home. Following, she went on to work in the obstetrics field for about 20 years. She then returned to working in geriatrics, where the majority of her time was spent with paperwork. Susan craved a job with more patient contact, and was able to find just that at Lawrence.
During the first year on the job at Lawrence’s Health Services department, Susan focused mainly on situated into her new role as a school nurse. By the second half of that year, however, H1N1 had arrived, continuing into her second year on the job. Susan calls the starting years working at Lawrence “initiation by fire,” especially with this year’s large incoming freshmen class. “I haven’t had a normal year yet,” Susan humorously remarks. “I’m hoping next year will be it!”
Now in her third year on the job, Susan functions as the receptionist for the health and counseling offices. On top of scheduling and organizing appointments, her job includes working with the doctor every morning, dispensing medications, emailing students when the pharmacy drops off prescriptions and triage when people arrive for walk-ins. Susan is also responsible for student physicals for entering sports teams, internships and graduate schools, as well as providing vaccinations and immunizations necessary for studying abroad. Her job also includes managing all freshmen paperwork to ensure that incoming Lawrentians have their health requirements completed.
Furthermore, Susan serves on the Lawrence University Wellness Steering Committee, and has given a wide range of health education talks to students. She is also a member of the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and American College Health Association, where she attends meetings and conferences to keep Lawrence health services up to par.
In addition to the many facets of her job at Lawrence, Susan shares, “I have a great shoulder for freshmen who are homesick.” She is willing to support students at Lawrence in any way she can.
“I love interacting with the younger generation,” she states, “It’s a lot of fun. I think students do have more concerns than when I was at their age. It’s looking at life in a totally different perspective.”