MY PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND

I was born and raised in Brookings, graduating as a Brookings Bobcat in 1987.  I attended South Dakota State University and obtained my B.S. in Nursing with high honors in 1991.  I worked as both a staff RN and charge RN on the oncology/renal/diabetic unit at McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls until 1998.  I was part of many exciting changes and medical advances during that time.  My unit was the first in South Dakota to accomplish bone marrow stem cell transplants.  In fact, I was the very first nurse to transfuse stem cells into a patient.  My unit was also the first in South Dakota that took care of patients that had kidney transplants.  My favorite part of working in the hospital was getting to know my oncology patients and their families; it was a very special time to share in the last moments of so many courageous individuals.

Between 1996-1998 I taught medical-surgical clinicals for S.D.S.U. at the Brookings Hospital .  Witnessing the enthusiasm and accomplishments of my nursing students’ first IV starts, first injections, ADL’s, and other skills was very gratifying.  I enjoyed teaching and sharing my passion for nursing – encouraging new nurses to believe in themselves and helping them find the joy in assisting others to achieve their highest level of health and well-being. 

In 1998, I became the school nurse at the Middle School, Medary Elementary, and shared the school nurse position at Central Elementary.  I enjoyed the day to day interaction with the students and staff at the schools.  Not only was I able to provide a little TLC to the kids that came in my office, but I was also able to assist in identifying physical and emotional concerns in the students and provide parents with information and direction on how they could help their child receive the care and services that were needed.

I started taking care of an individual student with special healthcare needs in 2002.  She and I have been together for over 6 years now.  She has become like a daughter to me.  My main role is not only to take care of her physical needs, but to be her advocate, her teacher, her supporter, and her friend.

 

MY PROFESSIONAL PHILOSOPHY

Treat those that are in your care as if they were your own mother, father, sister, brother, child, or best friend because every person deserves to be treated with respect, love, and kindness.

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