Cardiac Care Nurse
Franciscan Health Lafayette East
WHY DID YOU BECOME A NURSE?
Not long into my healthcare career, I knew I wanted to go back to school and become a nurse or physician assistant. Caring for people from start to finish during their hospital experience became essential to me. I wanted more out of the caregiver-patient relationship than just the short time I spent performing their scans in the emergency room. Forming a closer connection to patients, along with the unlimited opportunities a nursing career offers, sealed the deal for me to return to school.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO ATTEND ST. ELIZABETH SCHOOL OF NURSING?
I looked into advanced nursing degree programs throughout Indiana. I earned my bachelor’s degree in the medical field and knew many of those credits would transfer into a nursing program. I wasn’t interested in schools requiring me to take—or retake—classes that were not academically necessary. Of all the nursing school counselors I spoke with, Anita Reed at St. Elizabeth School of Nursing was the only one who took the time to sketch out a plan of attack on how I could complete my degree. Although I had yet to apply, her kindness, thoroughness and the tailored track she created assured me instantly that St. Elizabeth was the only nursing school for me.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST MEMORY FROM NURSING SCHOOL?
My goodness, our class had so much fun together. We supported one another and studied together. I was nervous to go back to school because I didn’t know anyone, yet the friends I made and our shared experiences will always be with me.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEW NURSES?
In my first year of nursing, I’ve learned that the more I do that seems new or uncomfortable, the more comfortable and confident I become. Show up every day ready for whatever hand you’re dealt. Jump in and do not be fearful. You’ve got this!
WHAT WAS IT LIKE FOR YOU TO BE A NEW NURSE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC?
After graduation, I shadowed a nurse in the cardiac ICU for eight weeks before starting my role in the cath lab. During that time, I saw patients who were critically ill, ventilated, resuscitated and some who did not survive. Because of this critical care experience, I was assigned to care for ventilated patients on the COVID floor and given my own patients to care for. Without my training and previous experience, I would have never had that opportunity as a new nurse.
HOW DID ST. ELIZABETH SCHOOL OF NURSING PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR CAREER?
If it weren’t for my education at St. Elizabeth, I wouldn’t have been prepared for what I faced as a new RN amid a pandemic. The professionalism and critical thinking skills my professors instilled in me were above par. Each instructor taught in the area of their expertise and had such a passion for the curriculum.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR CURRENT JOB?
I work with fantastic people. Together, we make a big difference in the life of cardiac patients. The familiar faces I see are a bright spot in my day, whether it’s a colleague or a patient on the mend.
WHAT IS THE TOUGHEST PART ABOUT BEING A NURSE?
When you’re a nurse, you bring home more baggage than one might expect, and that can be overwhelming. Working in cardiac care, I deal with life and death situations all day. That’s really tough for me. During the six months I worked on the COVID floor, seeing patients separated from their family members would bring me to tears. Everyone has to learn healthy ways of dealing with work stressors, especially nurses.
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?
What I learned about Christ’s healing ministry at St. Elizabeth School of Nursing is a part of me; a part of my every day when I walk into the hospital. There’s something different about the atmosphere at Franciscan Health. Patients mention the kindness that flows from everyone while under our care. I have to agree with them. There is something special about the Franciscan Health family that sets us apart.