When I first became a nurse I learned what it was like to be on the other side. To not be the patient but the caregiver. Working in the hospital I saw people in various types of distress whether it be physical disease/distress or emotional distress due to their new status as a patient. I often enjoyed the patient care I gave in the hospital but…and there’s always a but; it was really hard work. The patients were very ill and you have to take that responsibility to heart or you’re not doing your job appropriately. So you have very ill people who’s well being you were responsible for and the number of very ill patients you were responsible for was difficult to keep up with which often leads to a nurse becoming burnt out and leaving the hospital setting. Some nurses leave the profession all together and others look for different or alternative nursing positions.
After I left the hospital I wanted to leave the nursing profession all together. I couldn’t think outside the box of only working in the hospital. Also, Thomas’ challenges were beginning to emerge so we decided I would stay home. When Lelly was just under a year old I took a nursing position in a physician’s office. I stayed there 3 years. I think that job saved my sanity because in those years Thomas’ challenges and behavior were extremely difficult to deal with. He was hospitalized multiple times due to his aggressive behavior, in a psychiatric facility for children that was a 2 hour drive away. From there Thomas attended a residential school to address his behavior. He stayed there from ages 8-11 years.
In the meantime I wasn’t working. I was a full fledged stay at home mom with one foot in the special needs arena and one foot in the world of typical children thanks to my girls. I’ll always be grateful for them and that opportunity to experience being a regular mom of regular typical children.
I stayed home until Samantha was 9 and entered the work place as a nurse full time. It was great! I had a couple of jobs before I was hired with for the DOE and really got back into hands on nursing. I work with and provide care for special education and medically fragile students. There is not one day where all I do is pass out bandaids or deal with common complaints of a stomachache. There’s so many nursing tasks these students need, we are busy just about all day long. I love my job with the DOE. I can’t tell you how many people are surprised when I tell them I enjoy going to work. If I hadn’t become a school nurse in this capacity with District 75 I don’t know where I would be working. It wouldn’t be a hospital that I know for sure.