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  • Elizabeth Billingsley

My Other Life


Hello everyone! I thought I would tell you a little about my other life, my life as a nurse.

I became a nurse in 2000. I can't believe it has been almost 17 years in May. I started my nursing career in a Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and worked there and in Newborn nursery and a Level 2 NICU. I love babies so starting in these units right after school was very good for me. I learned alot not just babies but about parenting and my other nurse colleagues too. I saw good parents and bad parents. I saw people who loved their kids and people who should never have had kids. I saw infants who were fighters and those who could not fight. I saw technology win and I saw technology fail. I saw life and I saw death. I saw doctors do what was right and I saw doctors use children as "guinea pigs" to satisfy their need to stroke their egos. I worked with and saw nurses who loved their job and loved the kids. I saw nurses who needed to do something else. I saw nurses with drug and alcohol addictions. I was never sure if it was related to the life and death we saw everyday or just their general inability to cope with life and the personal pain they carried. I saw many things that made me sad for parents, for babies and for my fellow nurse.

I decided I wanted to do something different in 2006. Well, public health nursing is very different from neonatal nursing. I can tell you it was like a culture shock to me. The work is population-based vs individual-based patient care. I had to think about a whole lot of people, instead of just my 2-4 little patients, and that scared me at first. Almost 11 years later in Public Health Preparedness I have worked many events and incidents from tornado response to pandemic flu response to shelter response to disease outbreaks. It has not been dull I can tell you. I enjoy the challenge and all the people I meet. I get to work with our community partners now and do teaching and other activities as they relate to being prepared for a biological terrorist incident. I really enjoy that. It keeps me on my toes and things are always changing.

If I had it to do over again, I'd still be a nurse. I love to help people and work with people. I also love the science of the medical field in general. God really gave me a gift in nursing and I am so thankful.

There you have it. My nursing journey will of course continue. I look forward to all the things I still have to learn. You can be assured I will also be writing about them.

Until next time,

Elizabeth


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