Life has a funny way of leading you down the right path, despite the plans you have for yourself. That path led me to a very special friendship.
After graduating from college with a bachelor’s degree in biology, I was sure I was going to be a dentist. But my plans changed when I wasn’t accepted to the grad school I had applied to. To my surprise, I was somewhat relieved that I hadn’t been accepted.
I decided to go to the University at Buffalo for their accelerated nursing program. Several of my classmates talked about their clinical rotations at Roswell Park and how much they enjoyed the experience, so I decided to pursue an internship during winter break. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and after graduating with my bachelor’s degree in nursing, I came back to Roswell Park to begin my career.
Then, almost a year ago, I had a patient who was close to me in age who had just undergone an extensive surgery; she needed around-the-clock care. While caring for her, I found myself imagining what would have happened if our roles were reversed. She was a nurse at another hospital, and in a different circumstance, I could easily be the one she was caring for.
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I have always loved my job, and I try to care for my patients the way I would care for a family member. I constantly remind myself that no matter what is going on in my life at the moment, I have to be the best version of myself that I can be, because my patients are fighting for their lives. That’s how I felt while caring for this patient.
Six months after her surgery, I saw her at Roswell again, but this time she wasn’t here as a patient. She told me that she was so impressed by her care at Roswell that she decided to change her career path and come work here. She nominated me for a DAISY Award and told me that I had saved her life and inspired her to be a better nurse. I never thought I could have such an impact on another person just by doing my job, but it has truly been such a special experience.
Today the two of us work together on the same floor. She is no longer just a former patient of mine, but now a colleague and a friend as well. Her story and her journey inspire me every day to be the best nurse I can be, reminding me that a little kindness goes a long way.