By: Deborah Wall,
Employer: Medical College of Georgia
Occupation: Neonatal transport nurse, RNC
I have been a neonatal nurse for 27 years. Nursing jobs are constantly changing and are evolving into highly specialized areas of practice. Nurses are receiving highly skilled training at the bedside to keep up with technology. As most people have come to realize, there is also a nursing shortage. The shortage of registered nurses (RNs) in the U.S. could reach as high as 500,000 by 2025, according to a report released by Dr. Peter Buerhaus and colleagues in March 2008. During my career, in order to help fulfill one of these needs, I received ongoing training and eventually became a neonatal transport nurse.
Stabilizing and transporting sick infants is my primary job responsibility. As a transport nurse, I become the family's first contact with our hospital. It is not uncommon that a special bond develops between each family and me. When I arrive, the parents know that their child is sick and in need of help. I am taking them away and there is always the fear of unknown. It has always been important to me that they know my care will be compassionate and dedicated to their child's welfare. At times, they are placing their child's life in my hands. I consider this responsibility a privilege and feel blessed to have been given the knowledge that is needed to help their child.
As a member of the baby boomer generation, I will soon be one of the "retirees" that contributes to the nursing shortage. It is now my goal to pass on the wealth of knowledge and education needed for the next generation of new nurses to carry on; hopefully, with the same level of compassion that I have given the children I have cared for over the years. Nursing as a whole has changed. I remember a time when we became nurses because we wanted to care for people. I see more people entering the nursing force because of the "good wages" and not so much for the privilege and honor of caring. I plan to spend the remaining years in my profession influencing them to make positive changes. My experiences have taught me that I couldn't have made a difference without having done things differently. Change is sometimes radical. There can be more than one way to look at things. "Sometimes you break glass; sometimes you bend it; sometimes you leave it the way it is and look through it." As a profession, I am proud and honored to be a neonatal transport nurse.
By: Kristin Dollar,
of North Augusta
Employer: Hammond Hills Pool
Every kid has a childhood hero, someone to look up to, and someone who stands flawless in that child's eyes. For me, that person was Coach Mandy. At age seven, I wanted to coach a summer swim team so that I could be just like her ... nine years later, I was ecstatic to receive a job offer.
Well, my coaching techniques were far from flawless, and practices became an endless battle between me and the boys who enjoyed pushing me into the water more than winning a race. I often felt I was failing the team, until one afternoon when my 7-year-old Lifeguards in Training lined up next to my lifeguard stand, recounting the previous swim meet and arguing over who could sit closest to me. Suddenly, I remembered why I'd taken the job: not to win championships, but to be a role model, just like Coach Mandy.
By Paul Holcomb,
Employer: Lewiston Elementary School
Sometimes an eight-hour day becomes 10 or 12 hours, or a workweek turns into six or seven days, but that's a negligible part of my super job. Every day I see hundreds of various smiling young faces, which will one day inherit and become a valuable part of our great country.
My job is a teacher and I take extreme pride in providing my charges with a positive, understanding role model. I wear several hats, such as that of a parent, a nurse, a counselor, and, sometimes, even a peacemaker. The satisfaction of watching students learn or achieve success is priceless. Teamed with an exceptional standard-driven team of educators and administrators makes going to work a fulfillment I find at times difficult to describe.
I wouldn't trade my classroom for a board room. I don't make a ton of money, but I do make a difference.
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