ANA W., BSN, RN
Missy: How long have you been a nurse?
Ana: 5 years
Missy: Why did you decide to become a nurse?
Ana: It’s a long story… I’ll try to make it short. When my son was born, he had to fight for his life in intensive care for 14 days; at the same time I was fighting post partum complications. We had to stay in the hospital for quite a while and the nurses who took care of us were absolutely amazing! Right there I knew that taking care of others was way more important than taking care of ourselves! Those nurses were extraordinary and I wanted to be just like them! Years later, here in the US, some lady in church told me that my mission was to become a nurse… well, here I am!
Missy: What’s next for your career?
Ana: I’m currently working on my FNP degree.
Missy: What areas have you worked in nursing?
Ana: Always oncology. It’s hard to face death everyday but I do it for my patients… I fight cancer with them!
Missy: What is one tip that you have for an aspiring nurse or nursing student?
Ana: Never give up! It gets overwhelming but always believe that God is right there with you! My daughter was 3 years old when she told me: “If you think you can’t do it, just know that Jesus can!”
Missy: What’s the most challenging thing about being a nurse?
Ana: You always put your patients first! No matter what’s going on in your life, they are your priority. Knowing how to separate personal life and work its a bit challenging, especially in the beginning. You must learn how to separate work from your private life.
Missy: Nurse burnout is one of the most challenging issues in the nursing field. What are you doing to prevent yourself from experiencing this in your career?
Ana: You have to find out what makes you happy and work for it. Don’t just work for your paycheck. If you don’t like your job, find another one. Nursing is not an easy job! Bringing patients back to health or helping them at the end of life gets overwhelming pretty fast. You have to relieve the stress when you go home and leave work behind. If you go home, everyday, thinking about what happened at work, the accumulation of all that emotion, will make your heart heavy and sad, to the point that you just can’t do it anymore. Like I said before, work is work, your life is your life!
Missy: Finish the statement. If I wasn’t a nurse I would be a…
Ana: Social worker.
Missy: You recently became a patient yourself. How has that experienced shaped your view of nurses, if any?
Ana: It was the scariest and most devastating experience! When the radiologist told me that my mass looked a lot like cancer, I felt like life was stabbing me in the back! I said, hey, I’m an oncology nurse, I’m not supposed to be sick! Thinking that cancer could take me from my family was absolutely horrifying! But I filled my heart with hope and God gave me strength to face it and to make me a better nurse. Took me about six weeks to find out it wasn’t cancer. It’s a precondition, but not cancer! I know this happened so I could become stronger and a better nurse. Now I know what my patients feel, and it’s not an easy feeling! The nurses caring for me were the most important part of all this process! They’re the ones making sure everything was happening the way its supposed to; from ordering tests, scheduling and making sure the results were back to the doctors hands. At the same time, they’re the ones taking care of me emotionally, holding my hands and making sure to let me know that I was not alone. They were very professional, loving and caring. It made me proud to know how important a nurse is. I’m proud to be a nurse and to know how important I am to my patients.
Ana deserves nurse of the year with her positive and strong attitude with caring for people who face such hard challenges everyday. We salute Ana for her hard work and for saying NO to cancer.
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