Nurse G: My Story
Hello everyone, I'm Nurse G!
Thank you for taking an interest in getting to know me a little better. I first set out on my love of medicine almost two decades ago, and never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined realizing any of these wonderful life achievements. Something I want you to know about me is how honest, true, and raw my transparency is. I use my experiences, both good and bad to help guide my heart and hands to lead others out of darkness. My life is truly an open book…and who knows…maybe I will write it one day.
An EMT Was Born:
I still remember that fateful day in my high school gym class, that put me on this road; The local fire department came in to, basically, scare us straight. So many families in Miami were losing their teenagers to motorcycle and car accidents, the firefighters were shocking our systems with raw footage of people mangled in accidents, all in efforts to increase the wearing of helmets and seatbelts. What I discovered that day was that it takes very special, almost sick minded (LOL), individuals to see traumatic injuries and not shun away in horror. I was the only kid who wanted to see all the pictures they brought, and I sat there studying every detail, and after the bell rang, I asked how I can do what they do. No matter how morbid that sounds, I knew that I had to put that curiosity into good use and help those in medical need. Shortly after I graduated high school, I became an EMT and worked for about a year at a local EMS department in the Florida Keys, I saw my fair share of dead on arrivals, but the one thing I learned, was to not attach myself, after every call I simply asked, “So, What’s for dinner?”.
A Soldier Took an Oath:
After a whirlwind love affair (very young, infatuated early 20 year olds, who met on craigslist of all places, God help me my daughter doesn’t do the same) my husband and I married after almost 2 months, then a month later, in 2008, I signed up to ship off to the Army as a medic. Don't worry my husband and I are still going strong, and I have not had the urge to cash in on his life insurance (almost 13 years later, I like him, I think I’ll keep him, his mother tells no there is a strict no return policy LOL)…With the economic fallout of 2008, I knew the only EMT job I was going to get was in the military. I had my eyes only on one prize, help people in their greatest time of need. The military gave me specialized medical skill sets that matured me well beyond my years, instilled an unrelenting sense of professionalism, integrity, duty, and honor in me, that I believe I would not have otherwise attained in the civilian sector. I was highly trained by my leaders and my experiences. I had a lot of fun, I learned my mental limits far trailed my physical ones, and my heart was stronger than any physical shortfall. My medical specialty throughout service was acute/emergency care, trauma, and public health. Till this day the only lost life that haunts me is that of a uniformed brother who died in my arms on the side of the road, but that event lit a fire that helped guide me out of the dark woods, because I knew he didn’t die alone, and his memory gives meaning and purpose to my love of emergency care.
A Nurse was Born:
As a natural career progression, I always knew I would eventually become a nurse, and in fact was taking courses towards that goal; However, it was a goal without passion…initially. When my daughter fell out of me (and I mean that quite literally…fell…out of my vagina, split me open, and that is why folks, when she asks me “why” in the future, I will say, “because I said so”), I had the preconceived notion that I would breastfeed for 2 years, but within the first few seconds after she was born, I quickly realized how I would be praying to just make it to the end of each day, she was tearing into me and getting nothing in return. I struggled to say the least; I felt like a failure as a mother, that my one biological duty, I could not perform. All the nurses that accompanied our care made such an impact in my life. A simple kind smile, a hug while I cried, the patience to teach me, their celebrations every time I met a goal, they recognized and cared for me when post-partum depression reared its ugly head. All those enduring efforts, my friends, is what sparked that true love and passion for this profession.
Once, I had a young Soldier come into the clinic I worked at and told me her story; After losing her still born baby, her nurse helped her into the shower, and when this solemn mother collapsed in despair, her nurse (in full scrubs, shoes, socks, and all) collapsed to the floor, soaking herself, while holding and rocking her patient as they sobbed together in each other’s arms. I learned that day, that sacrifice and empathy knows no bounds. Nurses are truly the angels shining a light in the darkest hour, shielding you with their wings as they lead you to safety. I told that young Soldier, with tears in my eyes, that she was never alone, that she was a loving mother and did all she could to provide safe harbor for her babe, and in turn that nurse did the same for her; I told her that is the kind of nurse I hope to be one day, and that she was blessed to have her.
Eager to pay it forward, I wanted to help increase the support for other struggling moms, I joined a team of outstanding women, and together we forged the first breastfeeding support group for active duty moms. I helped commands establish safe and clean spaces for mothers to pump, I hugged a mom who was joyously celebrating after finally being able to breastfeed…just like my nurse had done for me. It was now or never…I knew I had to dispel all roadblocks and end one career I loved, to start the next that I would forever cherish.
From Veteran to Registered Nurse:
After serving honorably and proudly for 9 years, I left the Army in pursuit of my bachelor’s in nursing science degree. One of my greatest regrets in life has been the termination of my military career; I will forever carry in my heart the family I made there and hold dear the mentors who shaped me into the professional that I am today. The difficulty in transitioning out has built in me a strong tie to the veteran community, and I look forward to helping my fellow brothers and sisters in arms who have rejoined the civilian world. While in nursing school I lost two former military friends to suicide; Under my business practice, as ‘Nurse G’, I vow, in their memory and honor, to offer mostly free or heavily discounted services to any honorably served veteran, and to be a call away for any who fear they will succumb to their lack of will.
In 2017, I attended Florida International University, where I met my soul sisters, for which I would not have survived nursing school without their love, support, late night study sessions, laughter, and post-final celebration nights; I had amazing professors that pushed me to achieve my potentials and continued to inspire a love of research, for which I now dream of becoming. After many struggles, much dusting off (and many glasses of wine later), I finally walked and got my degree in hand, then dab smack in the heat of the ever growing COVID-19 pandemic, I obtained my nursing license, in May of 2020, and began working in surgical services and post-operative home health care.
My Blog is Born:
Let me ask you now dear friends…if you are still with me (LOL, I told you it was a journey...two decades long) …What is it that fuels you? What gets you up in the morning to brave another day at work? What feeds that hunger to venture on your own and create something that is just yours? For me, it’s 'Nurse G, At the Heart of Health'. Since I was a child I have always loved to write (I am sure you can tell by now, LOL). I want to share my medical knowledge, tell stories, write evidence based articles, and I inspire the same curiosities in others, as that which was instilled in me. I do not pretend to know everything, but I promise not to relive the miserable “fake news” theme of 2020; Any medical information I post will be cited by evidence based facts that you can take to the bank. I look forward growing with you all by my side. Welcome to my world, now, lets bring back the heart to healthcare, together.