The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Nurse practitioner and her team hope to help students on campus

Susan Nilles and Deborah Herzik are both nurse practitioners for the Health Center. Herzik has been at EC for over 20 years while Nilles started her career at EC just last semester. Photo credit: Jo Rankin

Students arrive one by one, and sign in as they patiently wait for their name to be called.

No minute is ever wasted for students in need of medical assistance. The seats in the waiting room quickly begin to open up as each patient is attended immediately.

The Health Center, as a whole, insists in providing intimate care.They work together with colleagues, and psychologists who are crucial to providing care for students.

“In order for us to provide holistic and complete care, we work with the director, and coordinator, Dr. Lyonga [medical director] who without her we would not be able to function.” Deborah Herzik, nurse practitioner said. “You cannot work without a team.”

Herzik been a nurse practitioner at El Camino since 1996. She is only one of the many clinicians who dedicate a lot of time and support for their patients.

Before coming to EC, Herzik worked as a nurse for the Little Company of Mary in Torrance. She worked there for about 14 years.

Herzik said she wishes that the Health Center could be available for students year round, her biggest concern is not being able to provide services for students in need.

“We are closed in the summer, that has been the biggest problem, and continues to be the biggest problem.” Herzik said.

Becoming a nurse practitioner is one of the most rewarding professions for an individual, Herzik said.

“It’s tremendously rewarding, it’s very hard work, you need to be a lifelong learner.” Herzik said.

Herzik said she makes the effort to go and provide medical assistance in rural communities.

“Herzik’s relationship with students is great,” Susan Nilles, director and nurse practitioner of the health center said. “It’s kind of nice to know I don’t have to worry too much about her relationship with the students.”

Herzik said that throughout her career she has met many students from different backgrounds both socioeconomically and culturally.

Nilles has only worked at the Health Center for one semester but notices the strong support the center gives to their patients.

“She is always wiling to go to the extreme for students.” Nilles said.

Herzik said she has enjoyed her time working at El Camino, and makes the best of every moment. She gets to learn from different types of students, and takes on every challenge.

Herzik said she has dealt with students who struggle both emotionally and financially. To her some of the students that have stood out are those who come to school to succeed despite their struggles.

“I really love how this campus is so diverse,” Herzik said. “I love that about working here.”

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