I always knew I would work in a field serving and helping others but to be honest I never really “knew” what I wanted to do; I just went where I was lead.  I remember as a young kid my great-grandmother, who I loved to pieces, was frequently in and out of the hospital with breathing issues.  In those days it was a big deal that I got to visit her in the hospital because the Catholic Health System in Buffalo was pretty strict about keeping germy kids off the inpatient floors.  I remember her not wanting to eat much and I would beg her to, she always called me her “little nurse”.

After highschool I felt compelled to leave my job in a local pizzeria to pursue a job in healthcare; in fact I ended up working as a patient care technician in the same apartment complex my great-grandmother used to live in.  From there I went on to nursing school however when I graduated I had the feeling this wasn’t where I was supposed to stay.

Before I even got my nursing license I started looking for holistic and “natural” ways to help people.  What I found was most of the schools for such were pretty far from home and coming from a close knit family I wasn’t too eager to venture out.

Following graduation I started what would go on to become a varied and quite eclectic nursing career.   My first job was in a small hospital far from where I grew up (I know I said I was a homebody but I met a boy and off I went).  The floor I worked on offered  chemotherapy, orthopedic surgery, general surgery, medical care and hospice; talk about being a jack of all trades. I learned so much there but eventually the wind blew me back home.

There I took some travel jobs that gave me even more experience until I finally settled in another small hospital, this time not far from where I grew up.  It was there that chance lead me to the world of emergency room nursing.  I remember thinking when I first started working as an RN that emergency room nurses were so cool.  I mean they knew EVERYTHING and could handle so much pressure.  I never thought I would be capable of doing that and as fate would have it I was pushed into it.  That push was exactly what I needed, I absolutely loved being an ER nurse.

What I learned right away is only a small percent of emergency room nursing (at least in a small hospital) is like you see on TV.  The vast majority of care is people that suffer from chronic pain and they are looking for help.

What I saw most was chronic back and neck pain come through the doors.  It was always the same, most often than not we would send them on home with a narcotic and a muscle relaxer, tell them it was a sprain, strain or just chronic pain and to follow up with their doctor.

After 7 years of working in various emergency rooms I came to the realization that we weren’t helping, in fact we were fueling an even bigger problem, prescription narcotic addiction.  People were coming to us for help and we were only covering up the problem, not finding a solution.  It was this realization that re-fueled that desire to want to help people more naturally.

As luck would have it Sherman College was in my backyard and with the blessings of my family I left my full-time job to pursue my dream and the rest is history!

I am now beyond blessed to help people really get better and I have to tell you there is no better feeling in the world than that!  I thank God everyday for leading me to where I am!

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