What inspired you to become a nurse?
Nursing is my second degree and career. I worked in the mental health field for many years before going into nursing. I was married to a Marine and wanted a job in the healthcare field that would be flexible. I knew that nurses were in high demand. I had worked as a behavior technician for a children’s psychiatric hospital where I was able to observe nurses and their duties. I saw that I could still use the skill set I had already developed in mental health and have the flexibility I needed as a nurse.
Why did you become a forensic nurse?
In high school I had a forensics elective that I found absolutely fascinating. Later, as I was getting my undergraduate degree in Psychology, I also took a course in forensic psychology which only increased my interest. In nursing school I was very excited to learn that there were opportunities in the field of forensic nursing. Shortly after I graduated from nursing school, I took a certification course through Duquesne University.
What is your favorite part about being a nurse?
My favorite part about being a nurse is how meaningful my work is. Often, as a forensic nurse your patients are having the worst day of their life. It’s an honor to be able to give care and support to someone in such a delicate situation. At the end of the day you really feel like you have made a difference.
What do you do to take care of yourself in such a stressful job?
Self-care can definitely be challenging in a high stress job. I do guided meditations 2-3 times a week. This helps me compartmentalize stress and clear my mind. I like cleaning and reorganizing my house to decompress, it helps me emotionally purge some negative energy to physically “take out the trash”. I also try to do yoga or some other physical activity several times a week to keep my endorphins high.