Nursing, it's a great career
A multi-generational legacy, Heather explains that she tried not to listen to her call to be nurse, but when she answered, it was the best gift she could have received.
Before I was a nurse, I was a musician. I lived in Los Angeles and I had a band and I did all of that. And actually, I come from a very long legacy of nurses. My mother was a nurse here at UC Davis. She was the OR nurse educator. She retired quite a few years ago, but she held that position for 25 years or something. My father was an OR nurse as well in the Sacramento area, and a nurse manager at various hospitals. Both of my grandmothers were nurses. My aunt was a nurse in Vietnam. Basically, the joke in my family is that if you aren't a nurse, you're either a nun or a priest. And I really didn't want to be any of those things, if I'm being honest. I wanted to be a rock star. I don't know what I wanted to do.
And my parents would always say, "Nursing, it's a great career." And of course, I didn't want to hear it until I was ready to hear it. And then I finally agreed to try prerequisites and I said, "Look, if I find them interesting, I'll stick with it." And I found them interesting, and now here I am. I would say that I think, nursing, especially the type of nursing that I do now, which is being a critical care nurse, I think it really is a gift because it gives you so much perspective on your own situation and your own life, and how fortunate you are often. Because I can be taking care of a patient who is so very sick for a number of different reasons, and might never be able to enjoy the type of life that I am able to live every day.
So I really think that that perspective is a gift. And I always thought before I was a nurse, I always would see these tragedies happen. Like Hurricane Katrina sticks out in my mind, and I remember thinking how I wanted to help or volunteer and now my life is very much a life of service. And I get so much fulfillment from that. So it's not just giving, it's also, you get something back from that.