Name: Mary Bond
Company: Franciscan Physician Network, Lafayette, IN
Position: Endocrinology Nurse
Graduation Year: December 2011
Additional Education: Certification in Diabetes Education
Hometown: Goshen, IN
Why did you become a nurse?
I became a nurse because my sister has Crohn's Disease and my Dad has Parkinson's Disease. I have seen the suffering of people with chronic illnesses, and I really wanted to do something about it. I saw how much my family struggled to understand a severe diagnosis. They struggled with how to best treat my sister and how to accommodate any chronic or severe pain she had. Often patients are given a diagnosis in a doctor's office and then sent home, and the families are left to deal with it on their own. So, I wanted to fill a gap as patient support once the patient is home with a new diagnosis and help them adjust.
Why did you choose St. Elizabeth School of Nursing?
I started at IU South Bend and then entered the convent. I was part of the Sisters of St. Francis for almost six years, and they sent me to St. Elizabeth School of Nursing. I left the convent before I finished, but seeing the diploma-based nursing program in a Catholic facility made all the difference in the world in educating nurses, as far as I'm concerned. At a typical state university, you don't start clinicals until your second or third year at the earliest. At St. Elizabeth School of Nursing, I was in a nursing home learning how to talk to patients, how to bathe patients and other forms of hands-on care within six weeks of the first semester. The diploma-based program is invaluable in giving students more hands-on experience before they're expected to take on full-time care.
What is your fondest memory from nursing school?
Some of my best memories are of the people there. I had a couple of instructors who were willing to go the extra mile and showed me how to carry on when things got tough. Whether they were teaching a particular course I was taking or not, there were one or two instructors who would always make time in their busy schedules to sit down with me, one-on-one, and go over content until I understood it.
What advice would you give to a new nurse?
Go in with your eyes wide open, and try not to have any preconceived perceptions of what you think nursing is. Go in with an open mind, not just from a nursing perspective, but from a patient perspective.
How did St. Elizabeth School of Nursing prepare you for your career?
St. Elizabeth School of Nursing gave me the general knowledge to step into any nursing position, land on my feet and start learning. You don't start knowing everything; you start knowing that you have the ability to learn. St. Elizabeth School of Nursing gave me the knowledge that, no matter where I found myself in nursing, I would feel confident and be able to grow into my position in order to do the most good.
If you weren’t a nurse, what would you be?
My automatic answer is a teacher working with children.
What was your first job in the field after you completed your degree?
I worked part-time for the observation unit and part-time for the float pool at Franciscan Health Lafayette East.
What do you do now?
I am the endocrinology nurse in a doctor's office. There is a medical assistant who works with me. Together, we ensure patients get the care they need. We work with insurance companies to make sure testing is approved and patients get the necessary testing they need. We call the patient and go over their lab results or testing that's reviewed by the doctor. We have worked with patients suffering from various ailments – be it thyroid or adrenal issues, diabetes, osteoporosis or low testosterone, we’ve been there to ensure the proper care is given.
What do you like most about your current position?
Providing one-on-one patient care is what I like most about my current position. I get to know my patients because they visit repeatedly, and I learn what's going on in their lives, how they're doing and if they're struggling. I like the challenge of finding ways to help them live with their illnesses and live the best life they can.
What is the toughest part about being a nurse?
The toughest part of being a nurse is watching patients who either don't want to get better or don't take care of themselves – watching them go downhill due to a lack of care.
What do you do when you are not at work?
When I’m not at work, I’m busy being a mother. I have a little one now with another on the way!