News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Health & Fitness

May 7, 2014

‘It’s truly part of who I am’

UAP nurses share their thoughts on profession

TERRE HAUTE — Nurses from UAP Clinic describe what nursing means to them.

Melisa Hallett, RN, UAP Clinic, ISU, Student Health Center, has been a nurse for 17 years.

• Why did you select nursing as a career?

I went back to college after 10 years, after being a stay-at-home mom. I selected nursing as a career path because I wanted to make a difference in the world. I began taking classes for early elementary education through Saint Mary-of-the-Woods’ WED program. I had worked as a CNA while in high school and had found the experience very rewarding. A friend, Robin Baker, RN, and my sister, Lucy Eble Monroe, helped me research the nursing programs in this area. That fall my youngest child went to preschool. I changed my major and never looked back.

• What do you enjoy most about nursing?

I have enjoyed several paths of nursing: psychiatric, long-term care, intensive care and college health. I find college health the most rewarding. I feel we are making a difference in the world, one healthy college graduate at a time.

* * *

Hope Beard, LPN, UAP Clinic, Clinical Quality coordinator, Quality Management, has been a nurse for 23 years.

• Why did you select nursing as a career?

My earliest memory of wanting to be a nurse was at about the age of 9. I had always idealized, even romanticized, the profession of nursing and caring for people like a little boy might feel about being a police officer or a fireman. I have been so blessed in my career and sometimes I still feel like I am that little girl filling big shoes.

• What do you enjoy most about nursing?

I am in a newly formed position, as health care is ever changing, so is the role of nursing. I love the opportunity to make sure our patients are receiving the best, most responsible, health care possible. Nothing can replace the gratitude of a patient who has been helped in whatever area of their healthy living.

* * *

Angie Britt, LPN, UAP Clinic, Union Hospital Neuroscience, has been a nurse for 191⁄2 years.

• Why did you select nursing as a career?

When I was little, I wanted to be the one who came to the waiting room and called the patients back. Not sure why, but I just thought that was neat! When I got older, I worked in a pharmacy, which I enjoyed, but realized I really enjoyed interacting with the people more, so I decided to go to nursing school.

• What do you enjoy most about nursing?

I really enjoy the patients. I work for a neurosurgeon, and that’s a very complicated field. Patients have serious questions and concerns and it’s great to be able to help them understand what’s going on, what we’re going to do, and, just as important, what they can do on their own to help themselves. Knowledge and a positive attitude make a world of difference in healing and outcomes. It’s an awesome feeling to have patients come back happy and feeling better than they have in a long time, and knowing we played a little part in that! I really do love my job! We have a great team and we all contribute to provide the best care possible. I wouldn’t go back and change careers for anything!

* * *

Sherry Phillips, LPN, UAP Clinic, Clinical Team leader at Cork Medical Center, has been a nurse for 10 years.

• Why did you select nursing as a career?

My daughter was born at 28 weeks with multiple problems and spent the first 10 months in Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. She was on a ventilator until she was 31⁄2 and had her tracheostomy until age 4. She has had multiple surgeries and still has a feeding tube. She is now 16 and leads an almost normal life. She continues to have health issues, but she is my little miracle. I decided when she was young that being a nurse was something I could see myself doing. If I could take care of a child with multiple health issues, surely I could help others. I have worked in geriatrics at a nursing home, worked in the lab at the Federal Prison, worked as a substitute school nurse and now my new adventure as a clinical team leader.

Being a nurse offers different paths to take in life.

• What do you enjoy most about nursing?

I really enjoy knowing that I make a difference. You become close with the patients and their families. They remember all the good things that you have done to help them or their loved ones. Going that extra mile for patients is very rewarding. It takes all kinds of nurses to help people in all aspects of life. From the beginning of life until the end of life, nurses are there for patients to see them through all the ups and downs life has to offer.

* * *

Juanita Chattin, LPN, UAP Clinic, Allergy Department, has been a nurse for 11 years.

• Why did you select nursing as a career?

I started out as a CNA when I was 16. When I finally started trying to seriously choose a career, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

The satisfaction I received from being a part of someone’s recovery was truly gratifying for me. I can’t imagine what my life would have been like had I not became a nurse. It’s truly part of who I am.

• What do you enjoy most about nursing?

I love helping people. I love making a difference. As an allergy nurse, part of my job is to administer shots to kids. I love that I can make that experience easier for them. Over the years I have been told that I made a difference in a patient’s life and recovery, and as gratifying as that is to know, there are just as many patients who have made a difference in my life too.

* * *

Lori Pieper, UAP Clinic, Cath Lab.

• Why did you select nursing as a career?

Nursing is rewarding when you have a sick person and you make a difference in their quality of life. Or even if you can’t make a difference in their quality of life, giving care and listening and helping them in some ways to adjust to the way there will be a change in life. Or even helping the family understand what is happening and the changes that may take place. It all makes you feel like you are making a difference in someone’s life and that is the best feeling a person can have.

• What do you enjoy most about nursing?

Helping others is what it is all about. Taking care of a patient and their family the best you can.

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