Lyndon Porter Knows How to Adapt

From turning a patient’s hospital stay into a home away from home, to taking care of family in his own home, Lyndon Porter has had to become a master in making it work before bringing home his Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences from Excelsior College in 2019. We spoke to Lyndon about his academic journey, career, and secrets to his success during a visit to Albany, New York, for Excelsior’s Commencement celebration in July 2019.

Dream Job:
Working in Public Health
Words of Wisdom:
“If you really, really, really want it, you can find a way to go back [to school]. You just have to find something that fits you.”

A veteran from Summerville, South Carolina, Porter left school to join the service. At the time, he didn’t think he was ready for college and credits his time in the military with giving him the structure and discipline he used to succeed years later. After the military, Porter started work in a nursing home and discovered a passion for health care. Porter knew he would need a degree to advance in his health care career, but after a stint at a traditional college, he realized that time spent sitting in a classroom wasn’t going to make his other responsibilities any easier. “You’ve got family, you have to go home, you have to cut the grass, you have to go pay bills, then you have to go to work, and you have to change diapers, and you have to be everywhere,” he remembers.

Thanks to encouragement from family, Porter discovered Excelsior’s online programs and knew they were the perfect fit for his life, work schedule, and goals. “Once I got exposed to going to school online, I was like, OK, now I can do it. I can make my own time … I can go review my homework and go in my class and not worry about missing an assignment or falling asleep and having to be back at work in the morning. You just have to find your niche,” Porter said, adding “Everything was a lot easier just because [Excelsior College] made it a lot easier.”

“The thing I remember the most is basically how to talk to patients, how to make them feel like they’re the most important thing because they are.” –Lyndon Porter

As a supervisor in a health care facility, Porter works on improving the hospital stay of every patient in his care and appreciated his courses’ focus on the patient experience. “The thing I remember the most is basically how to talk to patients, how to make them feel like they’re the most important thing because they are,” Porter said. Building a relationship of trust and comfort with his patients comes naturally to Porter in his role at the hospital. “You want to make sure they know that they’re taken care of and to let them know: ‘hey, this is what’s going on. This is how it is going. This is what I’m doing.’ Hopefully that eases them and makes the whole experience altogether better,” he said.

Now that he has his degree, he’ll be able to move into different positions at the hospital where he works or even pursue an advanced degree. But, first he planned some time with his family who had been the driving force behind his success, especially his children; Mark Peters, Jared Peters, Jesse Peters, Mia Peters, and Devin Porter. “My family’s very supportive ­— keep plugging at it, encouraging like, ‘you can do it.’ Letting you know what you’re doing is making a difference and telling me they’re proud of what I’m doing.”