I’ve never taken my career choice for granted. I always knew that I wanted to take care of people during times when they couldn’t care for themselves. Seeing how this has manifested in my life has been a true blessing.
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.
Letting people know that I see them as more than just their diagnosis helps to build trust. The woman who nominated me is a patient I see every month, and I’ve gotten to know her really well. She has four sons — two in college and one who got married recently — so she certainly has a lot going on!
From the time I was a little girl I always wanted to be a nurse, but sometimes things don’t always work out the way you imagine. I worked as a medical secretary at a different hospital doing insurance billing for some time before realizing that, if I was truly going to be happy, I needed to follow my passion.
For more than a decade, I was a secretary at Roswell Park. I loved my job but knew I wanted more. I especially felt a passion for interacting with patients. When I witnessed everything they were going through, I felt a desire to be by their side during their journey.
I am a voice for patients who are burdened by hospital bills, underinsured or struggling with complex medical decisions. I act as an advocate to help them get the medication, treatment and coverage they need. I fight through insurance and legislative red tape to break down financial barriers. I spend days, months and sometimes years working with a patient until all of their medical needs are met.
It’s a familiar refrain among nurses, and one that rings especially true for me: “I knew that I wanted to be a nurse as far back as I can remember.”
Over the years, I’ve witnessed my nursing colleagues at Roswell Park receive well-deserved recognition and acclaim in the form of the DAISY Award. I am very proud to now call myself a DAISY Award recipient — however I was not nominated by one of my patients.
At Roswell Park, our entire nursing staff receives frequent, well-deserved recognition for providing compassionate care to our patients. However, during my nine months working in the RPCI Intensive Care Unit, I’ve learned that families and caregivers are also very much in need of empathy and support.
As a chemo-infusion nurse at Roswell Park’s Amherst Center, I have been fortunate enough to build meaningful relationships with some truly inspiring people. The work of my colleagues and strength of our patients never ceases to amaze me.
Roswell Park changed my life. From the moment I walked through the doors, I knew it was a place I wanted to work.
Some days it’s hard to stay strong. I get emotional when I see families crying or patients struggling to cope with their illness. I feel for the moms who miss their child’s school event because of surgery or the young patients who are scared for their future.