Like mother, like daughter
For as long as she can remember, nursing has loomed large in Lauren Smith’s life. Both of her parents are nurses, so it was fitting that she set her sights on nursing school when she was still in high school. She saw the impact the career had on her family and the difference her parents made in the lives of her patients, leading her to pursue her degree while working as a technician at Advocate Children’s Hospital.
“As far as nursing, that’s what Lauren’s always wanted to do. She would see the letters and notes families would send me. It’s very rewarding,” said her mother, Jean Smith, director of clinical operations for Advocate Children’s Hospital. Jean has worked at Advocate for 40 years in various clinical roles.
All three – Lauren Smith, Jean Smith and Lauren’s dad, Troy Smith – work at the Oak Lawn campus, with Lauren and Jean at Advocate Children’s Hospital (Lauren in the pediatric intensive care unit) and Troy in the electrophysiology laboratory at Advocate Christ Medical Center.
The Smiths are not the only family of nurses at Advocate Children’s Hospital. Michelle Bouchard, a 31-year nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit, is proud of daughters Mary Faith Gerhardt and Jillian Bouchard, who followed in her footsteps. Mary Faith works in pediatric oncology and Jillian Bouchard cares for patients in the pediatric surgical heart unit. All three work on the Oak Lawn campus.
“It is amazing and wonderful,” says Michelle. “I am so impressed with my daughters’ passion for nursing. It is so refreshing and has reignited my passion, too.”
While Mary Faith has always wanted to be a nurse, her sister, Jillian, decided on the career just before graduating with an education degree.
It’s “like mother, like son”, for the Delagarza family. Mom, Ady, has been working at Advocate for 27 years. She is a certified medical assistant in outpatient Pediatric Specialties on the Advocate Children’s Hospital-Park Ridge campus. A year and a half ago, her son, Kevin, joined the same team as a patient service representative.
So what is it like working with your mom?
“It has its ups and down,” says Kevin. “It’s nice to see my mom every day, and sometimes she even pays for my lunch. But I can never tell her that I am working late and won’t be home.”
Ady tells us that her son is a prankster, and she often hears about his antics from peers.
“My mom told me that she worked with really amazing people” says Kevin. “And now I do too.”
About the Author
Lisa Parro, health enews contributor, is manager of content strategy for Advocate Aurora Health. A former journalist, Lisa has been in health care public relations since 2008 and has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. She and her family live in Chicago’s western suburbs.