Stories of Florence Nightingale’s compassion, bravery, and leadership have shaped modern nursing and influenced and inspired millions. As we celebrate the 200th anniversary of her birth, we are honored to shine a light on today’s #NurseHeroes on the front lines by sharing some of their stories.
This is Katie’s story.
“I left knowing that I did make a major difference in their lives, and them in mine.”
Describe why you chose to become a nurse
I was influenced by the nurses who cared for me when I was younger and had to be hospitalized. Their commitment to not only caring for me and my family physically and medically, but the compassion and dedication to educate me and my family the tools to be successful to a new life changing diagnosis at a young age really stood out. Physicians would come and go out of the room, interact and give updates, but it was truly the nurses throughout my life who helped guide the way. When choosing a path in life, I knew I wanted to be in a hospital setting and it became abundantly clear to me after some volunteering in different healthcare settings that I wanted to be a nurse to provide the same for another person.
Describe your most rewarding day on the job
The most rewarding day actually didn’t happen while on the job but while I was shopping. It was snowy, winter day here in Chicago and I had to stop at Target before I got home. Roaming the aisles, I kept hearing a voice yelling out, “Nurse Katie, Nurse Katie.” I turned and looked around only to find a patient I had cared for months ago. He was a man in his 50s and I cared for him after a major stroke leaving him at the time bed-bound with left side hemiparesis and aphasia/dysarthria speech disruptions. I took care of him for almost a month before he was cleared to go to rehab and at that time he still couldn’t stand or walk. Now to my surprise, I see this man walking towards me wearing different leg braces and using a hemi-walker. I was thrilled! We both gave a warm embrace while crying tears of happiness. We shared how proud of each other we were. He and his wife couldn’t stop profusely thanking me for the care. I left knowing that I did make a major difference in their lives, and them in mine.
Describe your most challenging day on job
A young man, 36 years old came into the ED after his wife woke to find him gurgling, unable to speak or move. After testing, he was found to have a large vessel occlusion stroke in M1 and M2. He had no medical history, a generally healthy man who recently participated in a marathon. We were able to give tPA and transfer the patient for a Thrombectomy but the wailing cries of his wife still haunt memories.
Do you have any nurse hacks or lessons learned in the field you would like to share with others?
There are days when it’s really difficult, you feel alone and isolated, but always remember there are people who are on your side to support and uplift you.
What’s a favorite quote of yours?
“I have an almost complete disregard of precedent, and a faith in the possibility of something better. It irritates me to be told how things have always been done. I defy the tyranny of precedent. I go for anything new that might improve the past.” — Clara Barton
For those looking for a way to help others, is there a charity you suggest?
Meals on Wheels-Chicago branch. I like this charity because they help my own grandparents during times of need. So many of our seniors are in need of healthy meals to maintain an optimal health status. Meals on Wheels helps provide this to seniors so they are still able to maintain an independence they still need.
Thank you for all you do, Katie!
Thank you for helping us honor Katie and the profession of nursing!
Do you have a story to share?
While our team at ShiftWizard believes all nurses are heroes, we’d like to hear who you feel has gone above and beyond. Help us honor a fellow nurse or nurse leader whose actions have inspired others in these unprecedented times, and let’s celebrate nursing together!
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We are honored to support our frontline teams and we are here to help you meet your challenges head on.
Send your nurse story to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or let us know how we can help you.