Nursing is one of the most challenging and stressful careers a person can choose. This career path is not for the faint of heart. This career takes an ambitious, self-motivated individual that can remain optimistic in the most difficult of times. Nursing is a demanding and selfless act; it requires a great deal of sacrifice, skill and commitment. Nurses must be able to adapt quickly, physically endure long hours, and have exceptional critical thinking skills while remaining empathetic and emotionally stable at all times. This line of work is exhausting on every level.
The curriculum involved in obtaining a BSN(Bachelors of Science in Nursing) is grueling and considered one of the toughest degrees a person can pursue. The hard work and dedication does not end at graduation, some say it merely begins. How do you choose a career path where you know you may be faced with tragedy daily? How do you justify this career; when, despite your team’s best efforts, you were still unable to save that child’s life? How do you watch the face of a parent cripple in emotion and grief while the doctor tells them their child is dead? How do you explain to a daughter that her mother’s dementia is the reason her mother is declining rapidly and having outbursts of anger; how do you discuss options with a family that has only six more months with their dad because of his recent diagnosis? More importantly, how and why do people sign up for this?
Lori Dawson, RN, BSN is the clinical director for LifeSpring Personal Services. She answers this question calmly and with a smile, “because it is one of the most rewarding careers a person can have. It’s not all tragic. You have to focus on that when you’re in this industry. There are moments of hope and God always gives you strength.”
When asked how she has overcome some of the difficult scenarios in her career, she replied, “I was still able to help the family. I was supporting and caring for them, too. When someone depends on you, you don’t really have an option. You just pull it together and figure it out.”
Lori’s nursing career began in 1987 after she graduated from the University of Oklahoma. She knew she wanted to become a nurse the summer before her senior year in high school when she began working as a receptionist for a surgeon.
When describing her time at this job, she said, “it was quite the experience for a high school student. He would take me back to surgery with him and he even let me hold the retractors! I was instantly intrigued.”
After graduation, Lori worked in a variety of settings including pediatrics, surgery, and acute care before she finally found home health.
“What do you like about personal services and home health?”
“I love that I can help people stay in their home and receive the help they need. I also get a lot of quality time with clients in home health and that is important to me.”
“What inspires you and motivates you to continue nursing when it gets difficult?”
“I am passionate about helping others. I love people and I believe it is my calling to serve. I have the opportunity to make a difference in someone else’s life and I believe in nursing, we are all just out to save the world, one life at a time!”
Nurses are extraordinary people. They are the heroes without the capes. They have a passion for people; a passion to inspire, encourage, care, nurture and heal. In honor of Nurses’ Week, we thank every nurse for their dedication and commitment to helping others.
Here at LifeSpring, we believe nurses make the world a better place. We may not always understand their motivation, and words cannot describe our gratitude, but there is always hope, faith and inspiration to be found when in the presence of a nurse.