Hey Bridget! What made you become a scrub-wearing, fantastic, life-changing nurse?
When I was a young teen, my grandmother got sick with cancer. When it was caught, what could be done was too little, too late. Watching my strong grandmother, who always pampered us with little treats and good words, deteriorate was heartrending.
Like most cancer patients, her immune system became weaker. Those vicious cells attacked her with malice. The chemo was no longer effective as she was diagnosed too late in the game. It was a matter of time before she succumbed to the battle. Soon, she was homebound in hospice care, told by her doctors to count the days of life and make the best of it. Now – that is where I got to know the incredible team of homecare nurses!
They came every day, rain, or shine, caring for her with so much dedication. Those hospice nurses were real. They would talk to her, bathe her, and shower her while making a supreme effort to make her feel independent while they were doing virtually everything for her. They left an impression.
I know this will sound story-like with a finale ending, but this experience formed my decision to become a nurse!
Tell us something about you we would have never guessed!
I was homeschooled for all but one year of my childhood!
We were a family of six, three girls and three boys; the youngest two were twins. Life was peaceful in our Rural Town, Culton, New York. It was just us and another three families on the road going more than a mile long. The school was several miles away, so my parents decided it would be best for us to learn at home. Ma was a disciplined teacher. Homeschool started in the dining room at 8 a.m., running till noon with all the seriousness of an authentic classroom.
Mom always supported our dreams and hobbies, allowing us to spread our wings. We spent the second part of the day weeding the homestead garden or riding to the library one point five miles away. Those were fun moments of my childhood my siblings often reminisced on!
My parents enrolled us in public school when I was in the sixth grade for a trial year. The following semester, they gave us the choice of whether to continue or to be homeschooled again. We all chose the latter.
As a parent to children, I recognized what a supreme effort they must have made to remain so committed to the routine.
Did you ever feel like your education was different because of your homeschooling?
My parents went through the BOCES education program for our schooling. They offered courses to juniors and seniors in many areas, including welding, childcare, and more. Guess! One option was an LPN course. It was ideal for an inspiring nurse like me!
New York state does not recognize the homeschool diploma, so we had to take the GED test to get into Suni Canton College. Can you believe I was only seventeen when I entered college? I may have been the youngest student in the class, but I was most passionate about my studies.
Woohoo! You are driven!
Reveal a topic you are very passionate about.
As a nurse working for Maximus doing home visits, with most of my prior experience as a field nursing supervisor for home care agencies, I note the importance for caregivers to have a solid understanding of the vital services they are providing. Whether it is critical care or helping with activities of daily living, they are changing the world for these patients!
I know I cannot change the system, but:
It would be nice if people in the middle class had better access to home care. People with Medicaid are eligible. Wealthy people can afford to pay for it. Where does that leave the hardworking middle class?
What do you love doing in your spare time?
You will find me anytime engrossed in books, doing jigsaw puzzles with actual pieces (Kudos! We didn’t know some people still do those.. without a screen!), and listening to music! Oh, did I mention kayaking? My favorite summer activity! Several years ago, we moved to a county near Culton, where we built a home on the riverside. As my children say.. it’s a hop, skip, and a kayak away!
Cheers to sunshine for my life, my two wonderful Noeline and Natalie. And my one-of-a-kind husband Mathew for always supporting me in my different roles!
Any message you have to more nurses?
Never get discouraged by a bad day! Be kind to yourself along the journey and avoid the thoughts that whisper you are not enough. Who else grabs these many opportunities to make smiles, healing & health?