Bauer plans career in medical field - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Bauer plans career in medical field

Charis Bauer

Charis Bauer, who is working toward an EMT certificate at LCC, also works part-time at Starbucks.  Photo by Mallory Stiles

Mallory Stiles

By Mallory Stiles
Associate Editor

Maybe it was in a movie or written in a book, but someone somewhere once said, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it,” and they were absolutely right.

LCC student Charis Bauer, 20, does things with moxie and intention, but also chose a noble profession that will give her an opportunity to save lives every day.  

Bauer is set to graduate with her EMT certificate at the end of this semester. She plans to continue on to get her state license in basic life support. She currently works at Starbucks with a co-worker named Brett Buhro, who said he loves working with Bauer.

“She is a great person,” Buhro said. “She always gives 100 percent. Whatever is asked of her, she’ll go at it and try to succeed to the best of her abilities. She is super self-aware and always looking for ways to improve.”

Bauer admitted she even goes as far as memorizing the orders of regulars to really leave an impression while working at Starbucks.

All of this is accomplished in between her course work, of course, which is unique but gives her a chance to be hands-on, which she said has been her favorite part of learning the EMT field.

“Right now, in the second half of the semester, we are looking more at traumas, burns and active bleeding,” she said. “Last week, we practiced packing a wound while it was actively bleeding.

“You stick your hand in there to try and pinch off the capillary, usually an artery, that’s actively bleeding. Then with your other hand you take small parts of gauze and just get enough in there as you can.” 

Bauer seems to have found her niche, but confessed it took a few tries. She said she is actually a former Michigan State University student who chose to get her EMT certificate at LCC on a whim after fondly remembering an anatomy course in high school.

At MSU she double majored in Theater and Art Education, to satisfy both her love for the arts and her practical parents. While she still has a favorite musical (it’s “Waitress”) she wanted to try something else.

“I just thought that it wasn’t the right thing for me so I dropped out from MSU completely and found LCC’s EMT program,” Bauer said. “I was like, ‘you know what, I can go for it and if it doesn’t work out then it doesn’t work out,’ but I knew that if it did, I would have a new career, for at least a little while. I can always move up in health care if I decide to. Usually, EMT work is used as a stepping stone anyway.”

Her source of ambition is simple, she said, and has always been inside of her.

“I like helping people,” she said. “I have thought about therapy, I thought about psychology. When I did theater, I was a stage manager, not an actor, so I got used to working hands-on and making sure my crew was OK.”

In between tying tourniquets, wrapping wounds and listening to lungs, Bauer works a shift or two and then winds down by relaxing into all things art. Fun isn’t always on the agenda, but does have an occasional place in her life and shows in her smile.

“For fun, I hang out with my friends and go to church,” Bauer said. “I am on the worship team; I sing and play bass … I do a bit of art … I crochet a little bit. I enjoy using pens and layering different colors on the same design. I like pastel and charcoal, too.”

Her kryptonite is chocolate croissants and her mom’s Stromboli, which she did confirm would be her last meal if for some reason she were to end up on death row.

The furthest she has ever been away from home was a mission trip to Bulgaria, which she said was simply beautiful.

“Bulgaria is full of mountains and it is green, just surrounded by nature,” she said. “Even when it rained, I would look around and just think how gorgeous it was.”

She may be back home with a Lansing zip code, but there is no doubt that Bauer is going places. Though the destination may not be finalized, she is on a journey.

“Anything I do, I am helping people along the way,” she said.

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