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Career Story: Occupational Health Nurse In A Pediatric Hospital

Occupational Health Nurse In A Pediatric Hospital

Job Title: Registered Nurse

Type of Company: I work as an occupational health nurse in the leading pediatric hospital in the United States.

Education: BS, Clothing and Textiles, Framingham State College (Framingham, MA) •• AS, Registered Nursing, Northern Essex Community College (Lawrence, MA) •• Certified Coach, International Coaching Academy

Previous Experience: I taught in the Boston public schools for 5 years and then ran my own family day care center for twelve. My first nursing job lasted for another twelve years during which I went from staff nurse to Director of Performance Improvement and Risk Management to Assistant Director of Nursing.

Job Tasks: I am currently an Occupational Health nurse in a pediatric hospital. Each day I meet people from all walks of life and parts of the world who share a concern for quality of life and health and who aspire to make every day a better day for all people.

I provide physical assessments, immunizations, counseling, education, wellness initiatives and I help employees get back to work.

If employees don't take time to care for themselves, they burn out. You can only give so much of yourself to everyone else without taking time to eat properly, rest, laugh, play and reflect on the intensity of the day. My role is to step in and help our staff take time for themselves. To encourage a holistic wellness approach to life and work balance.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the fascinating people I meet. They come from all walks of life and backgrounds; education, community, culture, spiritual, age, diversity. I love sitting with someone and feeling his passion and devotion to making this world a better place.

The hardest part of the day is the volume of visits. I want to give each person my individual attention for the short time we are together. Because of all the patients I have to see that can be difficult. We're all expected to work harder, faster, and more efficiently but it is difficult to make a personal connection and to savor every individual when others are queued up behind them.

Job Tips: The most important thing is to know and honor who you are. No matter where you go in life, you will show up. I have tried to change me to fit a job, relationship, career, but I keep showing up. So take the time to know what you value, what your strengths are and then build on them. If you don't value who you are, it won't matter if anyone else does. Your opinion is the one that will always matter most. Others' opinions are only fleeting, they inflate you for the moment and fade as quick as they come. Your opinion lasts a lifetime.

Additional Thoughts: My biggest surprise has been that when I look back at my life all the dots along the line connect. I could never have predicted where I've gotten to, but I can see looking back that it all makes sense. Take time to appreciate and celebrate each step along the way. Take the opportunity to expand your skills. You will be amazed to see yourself from a different perspective and expand your comfort zone.

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