Get to know your nurses – part IV

Get to know your nurses – part IV

health enews continues our salute to nurses with part IV of our week-long Q&A series.

In honor of National Nurses Week (May 6-12), we asked some esteemed caregivers to share their thoughts on the profession. Here’s what they had to say:

Q: Do you have a fascinating, surprising or funny nursing school memory? 

“My preceptor had me do a head-to-toe assessment on a patient on my own for the first time. I was having difficulty listening to breath sounds in the patient’s left lung. After half an hour, I finally had to succumb to telling my preceptor that I was having trouble with that part of the assessment. She looked at me and said, ‘You will be a great nurse, that patient had his left lung removed 2 years ago.’ I have never forgotten that moment.” – Cathy Towers, BSN, Advocate Heart Institute

Cathy Towers

Cathy Towers

Q: How can someone become his/her nurse’s favorite patient? 

“Just say ‘thank you’. The patients who always stand out in my head the most are the ones who are so grateful for the littlest things. It’s not always easy being a nurse. You work odd hours, extra hours to help out, you’re short-staffed at times, but you always try to do the best you can to make sure your patients have everything they need. Many times, you miss meals because you are worried your patient may need you, and everyone else is busy. The patients aren’t supposed to see or know this, so you keep a smile on your face the whole time while you might be starving or exhausted. Sometimes you have that one patient who will look at you, smile, and say ‘thank you for taking such good care of me,’ and it makes it all worth it.” – Jennifer Aversano, Oncology Nurse Navigator, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital

Q: What do you find the most rewarding about being a nurse? 

“Every single day and every single patient are different, which makes the job very interesting, and most of all, challenging. It is a great privilege to be with a person during their most difficult, scary, trying or happy times in their lives. To know you can help another person in such a unique way is nothing more than a honor.” – Karen Pisarski, RN CVRN, Advocate Christ Medical Center

“In my role as a nurse practitioner, there are a lot of rewards. I am honored to care for the many children and families who call me their PCP (primary care provider). I get to watch children grow and develop. I love being able to diagnose and manage illnesses and injuries. I love providing education about wellness to my families. As an APN (advanced practice nurse), I get to use all my nursing skills to work within the medical model. I think patients who see NPs (nurse practitioners) really get the best of both worlds.” – Wendy Rivard, Nurse Practitioner, Advocate Children’s Hospital

Q: How did you find your calling as a nurse?

“I was originally going to school to be a science teacher. I didn’t really know much about nursing nor have much interest in it. Then my junior year of high school, we found out my mom had breast cancer. After interacting with all of the amazing nurses who took care of my mom and family during her struggle, and with a little encouragement from my family, I decided that nursing is what I was always meant to do with my life!” – Alex Santoro, BSN RN, Advocate Sherman Hospital

Q: For someone who is thinking about becoming a nurse, what would you tell them? 

“Make sure that nursing is what you want to become. Nursing can be stressful at times, but the feeling that you’re making a difference in someone’s life is heart lifting.” – Eddie Canto, Nurse Clinician, Advocate Sherman Hospital

“Becoming a nurse means you are committed to go the extra mile or above and beyond. I had visions of grateful patients and families giving me frequent positive feedback for a job well done. That doesn’t happen as often as we hope. I came to realize that nursing isn’t about getting constant praise for your hard work. I don’t need to rely on that to know that I am doing my best.” -Kimberly Ernst, MCO, Advocate Christ Medical Center

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About the Author

Tiffany Nguyen
Tiffany Nguyen

Tiffany Nguyen, health enews contributor, is a public affairs and marketing intern at Advocate Support Centers in Downers Grove, IL. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with a degree in public health. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration focusing specifically on healthcare management at Lewis University. Tiffany enjoys hanging out with her friends, exploring new restaurants, and binge watching Netflix shows.