September 1978 – Ohio, USA
Last spring, after I had completed my initial mandatory year of experience on a medical-surgical floor, I began asking the Lord for a position during the daytime with weekends off so I could participate more at church. I missed Sunday evening worship and prayer meeting, as well as going door to door with the brethren to share the gospel. I thought about applying for a visiting nurse job but didn’t feel I would be safe in the inner city.
When I returned from Europe, my head nurse, Mrs. H. told me the administration had approved a new position for the hospital as a diabetes nurse educator. The role would include teaching the group classes, making daily rounds on all the patients with diabetes in the hospital to give them individual education, and teaching the staff more about the disease. The nurse would become an expert on diabetes. They required the nurse to have a BSN, so this eliminated many of the Tower 5 nurses. Mrs. H. has a hospital diploma in nursing, but she would be the supervisor. The goal is to develop one of the premier diabetes programs for adults in central Ohio. She asked me to apply, and so I did. Dr. L., the medical director, an endocrinologist, and Mrs. H. conducted the easy interview.
I don’t know how many nurses applied, but Mrs. H. notified me that they chose me for the position. I thank God for giving me such a wonderful schedule of Monday-Friday with no weekends or holidays. Nothing is too hard for the Lord. I love to teach and look forward to stretching my mind again to become an expert in the area. What a blessing to drive to and from work in the daylight one week after my apartment mate and I were mugged. (See previous post – Terror at Night). God knows how to encourage me after going through this difficult trial.
Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalm 37:4.
After working in the position for two months, my role has become more comfortable each day. I enjoy going to the hospital library and reading medical journals to discover the most recent research in diabetes so I can give both nurses and patients the most updated information. I also enjoy the time teaching the patients individually in their room, especially about how to give their own insulin injections. I help them overcome their fear of sticking themselves by letting them practice sticking an orange or a sponge again and again until it becomes second nature.
I contacted the Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis and discovered their week-long educational session for diabetes nurse educators. I asked Mrs. H. and Dr. L. if I could attend, and they obtained the funding. This will be my first national nursing seminar. And to think I get to visit the world-famous Mayo Clinic…
Sadly, I didn’t record any details in my journal about my week in Minneapolis at the Mayo Clinic. But I remember the helpful lectures of the diabetes nurse educators who gave me new ideas for our fledgling program. I appreciated their sheltered glass sidewalks downtown to protect us from the bitterly cold November wind and the great restaurants we visited at dinnertime.
The Mayo Clinic website is an excellent source for patient education which I often recommend. http://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-care-and-health-information. The clinic has expanded over the years and now has clinics in Florida and Arizona.