Being there when I couldn’t before
Through the experience of losing her father to cancer, Andrea experienced a desire to switch careers in nursing to help others through their cancer journeys.
I actually started out doing NICU nursery and OB, and I did floor nursing, did management in that, and I really liked the critical care part, but I felt the critical care of babies was so different. I wanted to learn adult critical care. So then I did neuro trauma ICU to learn adult critical care. And then from there, because I knew those and we were in a smaller hospital in Chico, they would float me. And a lot of times I'd end up in the emergency room, and I actually worked in a float pool situation. And the one place that scared me was the emergency room. So I took a job in the emergency room because I didn't like that feeling of not being prepared. And that was the one place I said I would never work. And that was one of the places I was the longest.
I came from that community, so I knew a lot of the patients. So I felt like I was taking care of my friends and family in that spot, actually in all the spots. ER is Jack of all trades, it was a great learning place. And then my father got cancer during that time and he passed away, I wasn't able to help him much. Try not to cry. So I learned adult oncology. I went into infusion after, because I couldn't help my dad. I thought I could help other people. So when you feel like you've done everything to prepare for everything as an emergency room nurse, I realized I don't. And so I thought it would be good to learn oncology to help my healing process and then to be able to help other people.