Surgical Nurse 2
WHY DID YOU BECOME A NURSE?
I always knew I wanted to do something that entailed caring for others. Just the other day, I was cleaning out my childhood bedroom at my parents’ house. I found a book that I made in second grade all about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had written that I wanted to be a labor and delivery nurse—the next big step I’m working towards in my career. I want to earn both my midwife and women’s health nurse practitioner licenses. Before she passed away, I helped care for my grandmother during her battle with dementia and Alzheimer’s. That experience cemented those dreams I had as a second-grader. Nursing is the only career for me.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO ATTEND ST. ELIZABETH SCHOOL OF NURSING?
During my senior year of high school, I visited a college fair at the Baltimore Convention Center. One of the exhibitors, Saint Joseph’s College, learned about my interest in healthcare and shared information with me about St. Elizabeth School of Nursing. I researched the school, and others, that offered holistic curriculums. When I realized St. Elizabeth provided hands-on experiences for freshmen on day one, I knew it was the right choice for me.
HOW DID ST. ELIZABETH SCHOOL OF NURSING PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR CAREER?
When I accepted my position on the surgical floor, it was my first job out of nursing school. When I started, my preceptor explained that he didn’t feel the need to follow me or watch everything I did with patients. That scared me! When I asked why, he explained that he noticed I always did my job without being directed or told what to do. I quickly realized I was the only one of my peers fresh out of school with experience drawing blood and inserting IVs, I knew St. Elizabeth had sent me into the workforce ready and prepared. My education gave me an edge.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEW NURSES?
Have fun and enjoy your job. Don’t forget: You can say “no” to overtime when you feel overworked and take much-needed downtime whenever you can.
HOW HAS YOUR ROLE CHANGED SINCE THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK?
When the pandemic first happened, we were all a little unsure about our roles. I work on the surgery floor, and, in Maryland, all non-emergent surgeries were canceled. We lent a hand in the ICU or the COVID units when needed. Sometimes, nurses were not required for their shift and asked not to come in. If surgeries are not happening, there is no need for staff. Due to nurses leaving to find other jobs when hours were cut in those early days, we are now short staffed on my floor. The ripple effect of the coronavirus still continues in healthcare departments like mine.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CONCERN RIGHT NOW REGARDING COVID?
We must take this virus, and its impact, seriously. I worry that the winter months will bring with it more cases and, once again, stress hospital ICUs across the country.
WHAT'S SOMETHING POSITIVE YOU'VE SEEN COME FROM THIS OUTBREAK?
A unique camaraderie has formed between my surgical floor and the ICU floor. We pitched in to help them at their most significant time of need. Now, they come to our floor when extra sets of hands are needed to pass out meds or take patient vitals. Both teams continue to come together to help one another and our patients.
HOW DO YOU SEE YOURSELF AND YOUR NURSING PRACTICE THROUGH THE LENS OF THE SCHOOL'S MISSION OF PREPARING NURSES TO CONTINUE IN CHRIST'S HEALING MINISTRY?
The lovely thing about working at a Catholic hospital is I am free to share my faith with my patients, have open conversations about Christ, and sincerely tell them that I am praying for their recovery.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT AT WORK?
Since I work nights, my favorite thing to do when I’m off the clock is sleep as much as possible. The other thing I’m working on is my credentials to become a traveling nurse. I cannot wait to see different areas of the country while providing care and showing kindness to those who need it. When I’m finished traveling, I’ll work towards fulfilling my second-grade dream of becoming a labor and delivery nurse.