Indiana Packers Employee Health Clinic
WHY DID YOU BECOME A NURSE?
I graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s in animal science. After two years at a large-scale hog farm managing their Farrow to Finish process, I decided I wanted more in my career. I became a nurse to help patients and educate my community about their health. Now, I’m an RN and a nurse practitioner.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO ATTEND ST. ELIZABETH SCHOOL OF NURSING?
St. Elizabeth School of Nursing was recommended to me by several people within the community. While checking out the campus and program, I met with Anita Reed. She took the time to discuss the process of applying, the clinical schedule, and the school’s mission and values with me. I was immediately interested and there was no looking back.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST MEMORY FROM NURSING SCHOOL?
Because I was married and had a toddler at home, nursing school flew by for me. Many other students had families and were earning their second degree too. It made things a bit more challenging to balance home life and kids’ activities while keeping our heads above water academically. With great fondness, I think about the close-knit group of friends I gained and how we helped each other study and succeed.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A NEW NURSE?
I would encourage new nurses to keep their chin up and never stop learning. The medical field is fantastic. It never stops changing; therefore, there is always something to understand or improve upon. Seize opportunities when they present themselves. You never know what doors may open for you along the way.
HOW DID ST. ELIZABETH SCHOOL OF NURSING PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR CAREER?
St. Elizabeth School of Nursing gave me a solid medical background. Three weeks into classes, we began clinicals. This gave students early access to hands-on experiences, which led to building critical thinking skills sooner. When I graduated, I knew I was ready to care for patients.
WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT JOB LIKE?
I love working at the Indiana Packers Employee Health Clinic. I work with a great group of Nurse Practitioners, nurses and front office staff. It takes all of us to keep things running smoothly. We mostly serve employees and their families covered by Indiana Packers Insurance. We treat patients ranging in age from toddler to the elderly. That is the great thing about the medical field: Medicine, and those we treat, are ever-evolving. That requires us to continue educating ourselves to provide the best care possible.
HOW HAS YOUR JOB CHANGED DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC?
Indiana Packers Corporation has strived to offer their employees a safe working environment throughout the pandemic. In the beginning, employee temperature checks and mandatory testing were enforced. Now, we have implemented a workforce COVID-19 vaccine clinic which offers a convenient and efficient place to receive vaccines.
WHAT IS THE TOUGHEST PART ABOUT BEING A NURSE?
The most challenging part for me is knowing that I’m not able to control things that are out of my hands. As nurses, we are here to help. Sometimes, no matter how much we educate patients or treat them effectively and efficiently, we cannot control the outcomes. At times, that can be difficult to face.
HOW HAS THE PANDEMIC MADE YOU A BETTER NURSE?
Living through and practicing medicine during a global pandemic has made me appreciate life and the healthcare field more. I’ve adapted to different working environments, like seeing patients outside and offering medical advice with a limited physical examination. I make it a point to actively listen to my patients’ concerns. With COVID-19 protocols, strict health procedures and policies it made listening and empathy for our patients and their families more critical. Covid presents so differently from patient-to-patient. Just when we thought we had it figured out, new symptoms materialized making thorough assessments more critical than ever.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT AT WORK?
We have two daughters, ages 12 and 7. They participate in competitive dance, middle school dance, 4-H (showing rabbits and goats) and we have a family business working concessions as well. We spend a lot of time at the dance studio, dance competitions and working with animals. We love to camp, ride bicycles, swim, travel, have game nights and spend time with family and friends.