Registered Nurse: Cindy Erickson
1. Why did you choose to become a registered nurse?
My older sister was a nurse aide and so I followed in her footsteps. There weren’t many other jobs available in our area growing up, except waitressing. The pay was better at the hospital and we could work 20 hours per week.
2. What is your typical work day like?
I work in surgery so my day starts by getting supplies together for the difficult procedures I will be assisting the doctor with that day. I then prepare the operating room. Once this is done, I visit with the patient, family and doctor on how to assist each one in their surgical procedure. I help coordinate the needs of the patient and doctor and document what takes place. Also, I pass all the information onto the next nurse.
3. What is the most rewarding part of your job? The most challenging?
The patients and how thankful they are for your attention to detail. Also, visiting with the broad spectrum of patients we treat.
The most challenging part is keeping up with new changes in technology and all of the advances.
4. What is the biggest myth or misconception about your career or field?
That as a nurse, I know everything about everything. I’ve worked in surgery for 29 years. I do not feel as if my medical skills are as current as my surgical skills. People don’t realize the amount of continuing education required to keep up my license and certification.
5. What steps did you take in high school and college to help prepare you for your career?
I took math and science classes in high school. I worked two years of high school as a nurse aide.
6. What did you find difficult during your career preparation? How did you overcome these obstacles?
The amount of science classes and overall clinical hours spent learning. I overcame it by looking forward to what I would accomplish after college. Also, by being in a BSN program, we had the opportunity to attend other classes and meet other fellow classmates.
7. What do you see as the strengths and skills needed to succeed in your career?
A strength I see is that all students entering into the programs have a nurse aide certification. I think they need to work as a nurse aide to see what patient care is all about.
8. What advice would you offer to students interested in pursuing a career as a registered nurse?
Pursue as many opportunities as you are able to, to get a real feel for the many different areas of nursing. With nursing today, the sky is the limit.