Six days remained until the start of nursing school as I sat in the hospital bed, the recipient of a chest tube. The diagnosis was a pneumothorax due to a burst bleb on my right lung. Within hours I would be told that surgery was necessary. The day started routinely, except for a nagging cough, and ended with emotions of apprehension, pain and confusion. That experience as a patient was as valuable as any future nursing education I would receive. It provided me with a unique perspective and taught me that to be a good nurse one first has to understand what it means to be a patient.
Whether planned or unexpected, being in the hospital can be an overwhelming experience. Anxiety, stress, and fear of the unknown are common reactions for patients dealing with a new or ongoing diagnosis. As a front line cardiac nurse in the Baltimore/Annapolis area, I have witnessed a widespread demand for educated staff to help patients navigate the complexities of their illnesses. Now more than ever, patients are in need of assistance to comprehend their complicated treatment plans, various medications, and endless medical options. As a bedside nurse, my duties include near constant education of patients on every aspect of their hospital stay. Unfortunately, other nursing responsibilities often limit this essential segment of the healthcare continuum.
A Masters Degree in Nursing from Loyola University of New Orleans would further qualify me for a position as a Nurse Educator. I would then be available to devote my time exclusively to cardiac patients. Heart disease is the number one killer in America and I am committed to educating this ever-growing population. From frightened patient, to compassionate nurse, to knowledgeable educator, I look forward to a long career assisting the community in improving their cardiovascular health.