From left: Joel Martinez, Odette Martinez, bride Jocelyn Dufresne Martinez, groom Joseph Martinez, Shelley Campos, Emmanuel Campos and in the front, flower girl Megan Campos.
The call to the art of healing was answered by the whole Martinez family. Joseph Martinez and his parents – Odette and Joel – and his mother’s sister and brother – Shelley Campos and Emmanuel Campos – are all nurses. And four of the five of them studied nursing at Lethbridge College. Joseph and Odette both credit Joel as their foremost influence for pursuing a career in health care. He embarked on his nursing studies in the Philippines before the family moved to Canada in 2009.
“I grew up with my dad being a nurse, and his stories from his units gave me a new perspective,” says Joseph, who graduated from the Nursing Education in Southwestern Alberta (NESA) program in 2016 and currently works as a nurse in the geriatric assessment and rehabilitation unit at the Chinook Regional Hospital. “My mom had a previous job involved in marketing, but there’s not much of a great need for that in Lethbridge, and she took a liking to what my dad did.”
In the NESA program, which involves two years of study at the college and two at the University of Lethbridge to earn a Bachelor of Nursing credential, Joseph discovered he enjoyed all aspects of nursing. “I’m not going to lie – I always just saw what was on Grey’s Anatomy for what was the main place for nurses – best suited in hospitals,” he says with a smile. “But coming out of college, I was like, wait! There’s so much more out there in the whole big world! I can’t wait to explore.” Odette studied in the Practical Nursing program at the college and graduated in 2013, and she now works as a nurse at Covenant Health. Her sister, Shelley Campos, who also works as a nurse at Covenant Health, earned her Bachelor of Nursing after degree credential in August. The BNAD program involves returning to school after earning a degree in a different subject, and taking two semesters of nursing courses at Lethbridge College and four semesters at the university. And Odette and Shelley’s brother, Emmanuel Campos, completed the BNAD program in 2012 and now works as a registered nurse in California.
Joseph said the college’s friendly, approachable instructors helped him be open-minded about nursing, and he now enjoys calling some instructors colleagues. The Martinez nursing connection is not lost on them. “We joked with a doctor who we are friends with that if we opened a clinic, we could all work together,” Joseph laughs.