Story about my Family
I think being born into a large family, nine brothers and seven sisters, has many advantages. I always had someone to play with as a child. My older brothers and sisters were always there to protect me; therefore, I never got teased or bullied. My support group was big which helped build my confidence, self-esteem, and resilience. I am not afraid to try anything new because I know my family will always be there to help me out if things don’t turn out as planned.
I went away to college the fall after graduating from high school. I did well academically and loved expanding my knowledge. However, I had no connection to my family. Land lines were the only telephones at that time and long distance phone calls were expensive. No one came to visit; either they didn’t have the time or transportation. I never returned after that first year. I got a job and figured I would go back to college once I bought a car so that I could go home once in a while to avoid getting so homesick. That plan didn’t work out either. I ended up having a child and getting married. Three years later I had my second child, but never gave up the idea of going back to college.
Eleven years later, I decided it was time for me to return to college. I got an associate’s degree in medical imaging. I worked a total of two weeks as an x-ray technician before I admitted that I disliked the job and didn’t want to work another minute in that field. I had no idea what type of job I wanted to do, but knew I wanted to do more than factory work. At my husband’s suggestion, I went back to school and got an associate’s degree in environmental, health and safety. I found a job immediately even though it was the beginning of the recession and many people were getting laid-off. I really enjoyed this line of work but found it difficult to be taken seriously in this positon since I am a petite woman.
I am a firm believer that something good can come out of most situations. I had to attend monthly safety council meetings and it was during one of these meetings that I met a nurse who worked at a factory. This was my introduction to the occupational health nurse position. After researching the job duties and possible career advancements, I knew this was the job I had been seeking all along. I knew my former education and experiences would help not only with nursing school, but also working as an occupational health nurse.
I couldn’t convince my nursing instructors that my experience as a safety director in a factory would help me get a job as an occupational health nurse immediately after graduating as a nurse. I was informed that many positions require at least two years of experience in the emergency department or acute care. After researching many job openings listed during my time in nursing school, I discovered they were right. However, I wasn’t about to let that stop me. I knew the only people I had to convince I was qualified for the position were those on the hiring panel when I went for an interview. My persistence and persuasion paid off. One year after passing the state boards and getting my nursing license, I took a positon as an occupational health nurse.
I have been an occupational health nurse in a factory for one year. I knew this was my calling before I even worked in this field. During my interview, I revealed my intentions of taking online courses to get my Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree and then sitting for the boards to become a Certified Occupational Health Nurse-Specialist (COHN-S). I am in the process of taking online courses to complete the RN to BSN degree. Once I have achieved this goal, I will begin to prepare for the COHN-S examination. I give my family partial credit for what I have accomplished. My diligence and determination was instilled in me during my childhood which wouldn’t have been possible if my family didn’t support me as I was growing up which has made me the strong person that I am today.
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