Who Is That Nurse? - Sandra Myers, LPN
Why did you become a nurse and how did you originally become a nurse within the ID field?
Being a nurse was my dream as far back as I can remember. I became a nurse because I found joy in helping people. I started out in my teens as a volunteer in a local nursing home and hospital. I became a certified nursing assistant at a Lehigh County Nursing Home at age 18. A few years later, I graduated from a practical nursing program in Bucks County. I continued to work at my local nursing home and hospital until I accepted a position at Lehigh Valley Hospital. It was there that I had the most incredible orientation and training with hands on experience in rehabilitation, med surgical and emergency etc. After my daughter was born, I enjoyed staying home to care for her for a few years. During that time, a family member suffered a TBI. My family and I were faced with a lot pain, frustration and challenges. This led me to start studying in great depth neurology and psychology. After this struggle, I was inspired to venture out to the ID field. I believed that with hard work, determination and compassion, I could make a positive difference in the lives of the individuals that I served.
How have your experiences influenced your philosophies about nursing?
My experiences have influenced me with the importance of teamwork and communication. Having a great team to collaborate ideas is so valuable to expand the knowledge of our individuals with ID and to ensure that their needs are being met. It is a pleasure working with the incredible people at Life Path and PCHC. My director, nurses, assistant directors, house supervisors and direct staff are all a part of the team at LP and I appreciate all their hard work and care that they give. I also have had the privilege of meeting with Karen Boyce RN from PCHC. PCHC nurses offer support, education and clinical recommendations. Teamwork is so vital because each person converses their own knowledge and experience. Communication is not just speaking effectively but also listening attentively. Teamwork to me is everyone having a voice and working together to make a difference.
What are some highlights of ID nursing?
The highlights of ID nursing for me are there is always a challenge and you are always learning something new. Each individual is unique and brings new challenges. Education is important for ensuring that the best care is given and helps to meet those challenges. My director at LP is very supportive of continuing education and encourages/offers any helpful resources. Last year, I attended the Dysphasia – Train the Trainer Presentation through PCHC. I used this information to educate direct house staff on dysphagia concerns. This year, I had the opportunity to attend a sign language course at LP. I plan to use it to communicate more effectively with the individuals that I serve. Also, I am looking forward to attending PCHC’s The Medical – Dental Linkage and its Effect on Overall Health, on May 8th 2019. I enjoy research and education. ID nursing stimulates you to seek more knowledge and to educate others. In ID nursing, there is always room for growth to improve and work towards your highest potential.