The Star-Herald

County Face: Matthieu Doiron of Caribou

When New Brunswick, Canada, native Matthieu Doiron was in high school, he was told that he should be a doctor or a physical therapist. He really liked biology and had several interests in the healthcare field, but found it hard to decide what career path to follow.

Despite what others suggested he should do, he went on to pursue nursing and attended the University of Moncton, Campus of Edmundston. After two years in the program, he decided to leave the university and attend college in the United States. After entering the medical laboratory technician program at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, he realized that he missed nursing. That was when he decided to attend Northern Maine Community College in Presque Isle.

Doiron, who now lives in Caribou, chose NMCC for several reasons.

“I was told that nursing was a good program,” he said. “Being a two-year program, I can find a job fast so I can start paying my student debts. Also, it is more affordable than going to a university.”

Doiron is currently in his second semester of the nursing program. He thinks highly of the faculty.

“Instructors give good examples in class. They help us learn about holistic health and how to apply it in certain situations,” he said. “They are very open to answering questions and always make time for their students.”

He also enjoys collaborating with his peers, and noted, “As a group, we have good chemistry.”

For the past year, Doiron has worked as a certified nursing assistant at Hotel Dieu of St-Basile, a nursing home in Edmundston, New Brunswick. When he graduates from NMCC in May of 2019, he hopes to obtain employment as a nurse while continuing his education and earning a bachelor of science degree in nursing. He intends to earn a master’s degree and work as a nurse practitioner, and later complete a PhD in nursing and become a professor in higher education.

NMCC officials said Doiron is excelling in the nursing program and earning exceptional grades, with a current grade point average of 3.9.

He shared his secrets to success, including studying alone as well as with a study group, because “someone may be able to help you understand the material.” He recommended students find their own learning style and refrain from cramming before an exam, and also encouraged peers to take advantage of the tools available to help them succeed, including textbooks and online resources.

“Don’t change your learning style if it works for you. If it doesn’t work, change it,” he said. “Textbooks have a lot of information. Rather than just listening in class, review the book to know the context of the information deeper.”

Several test preparation websites and smartphone applications exist, he added, to help students obtain easy, convenient access to study material. Knowing how to manage time is also important.   

According to Doiron, some patients, such as female patients, may have reservations about having a male nurse. “It’s understandable,” he said. “You adjust to it.”

Some concern may exist about the preconceived notion that men are not nurturing, as women are typically perceived to be, which creates a challenge for a man entering a career in nursing. Regardless of the stereotypes of males in nursing, he said he has never felt that he would not be accepted as a male in the nursing field.

Doiron cited a passion for learning. He is fascinated with how the human body works, he explained, and enjoys the process of gathering information about a patient and engaging in critical thinking to determine the condition that the patient is experiencing. He also likes the educational component of nursing, such as teaching patients about their medication.

“I enjoy the knowledge I get from nursing and performing the skills I am learning,” he added. “I like the patient interaction and helping people.”

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