My association with nursing started very young. I had a neighbor that would teach me how to clean fish she caught and take care of game that was shot and so I started an intense search of what was to come. My dad worked at Talon when I was growing up and took many trips. Every trip he would bring me back a Cherry Ames book. This was a series of books about nursing with each a different focus. One book would have Cherry as a school nurse and another as a cruise ship nurse and on it went. It really did start my career and my only wish is that I still had the books.
I became a candy striper and worked in the lab and was exposed to many things. They let me look in the microscope, register patients, get specimens from the floor and I even saw an autopsy on a baby that Dr. Thomas did. Obviously these are things that probably wouldn’t happen today.
In high school, I worked as a nurse aide not only at local nursing homes but also at Spencer Hospital in the Emergency Room and on the general floors. Judy Gilberto was actually the person that trained me and I continued to work even after I started nursing school. I will never forget Sister Anastasia rustling down the hall in her crisp white habit.
I am a graduate from Meadville City Hospital, in fact the last class. The stories I could tell would embrace how we were on the floor, any shift, any day and how we learned so very much and often had baptism by fire if you know what that means.
I have worked everywhere and done about everything. The list includes: Critical Care, Dialysis, Camp Nurse ,Telemetry, Home physicals, Home health, Hospice, General nursing, Surgery and recovery room, Infection Control, Utilization management, teaching nursing, Prison nursing, supervising, Head Nurse, IV team, even taking ambulance call and finally culminating my career as a breast health educator.
I have loved almost every minute of every day. Some days have been tougher than others. I would say to those coming through the ranks. Take the tough patients, learn all you can, laugh and cry with them and show them you care. Never quit reading, studying, and learning. This career is what you make it. And always, MAKE IT A GREAT DAY!
Thanks to each and every one of you for allowing me to be a part of your life!