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Meet Your Team: An Introduction and the Registered Nurse

Health is complex. I hope at this point regardless of where you are in your journey or in your journey following me, you’ve seen from others and yourself that health is complex.

Complex isn’t bad, but it means that we need to have a team on our side. Everyone’s team will look different and that’s ok. But what’s important is knowing who can be on your team to support you directly or indirectly.

Let’s meet them.

Collaborative care is something we think about in a hospital setting, but it’s also something that you can see in the fitness side of health as well, although not as often. It is something that I encourage and have been able to dabble in as I educate others about what I do as a health coach.

Collaboration helps patients and clients have the total package so that their goals can be realized, but it also helps us as professionals find support when we know we can’t do it alone.

These posts will have the same questions, but obviously, every professional will have different answers. My hope is that you can see the how diverse their backgrounds are, their specialties are and maybe clear up what they can and can’t do for us as their patients and clients.

These are not necessarily members of the team I use, but these are individuals I’ve spoken with that I respect.

Meet Leanna, the Registered Nurse

Leanna, RN

Occupation/Title: Registered Nurse

Specialty: Labor and Delivery

Current State/Country of practice: Massachusetts, USA

State(s) that you have licensure in: Massachusetts and Florida

Years of practice: 7.5 years

Education needed/obtained for current occupation/title: Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Continuing Education Units (CEUs) needed to maintain licensure: 15 CEUs per 2 years

In your role, what is your scope of practice? As an RN (in general), we assess patients, administer medications, implement care plans, advocate for our patients, etc. My role as a labor and delivery nurse: I coach expecting mother’s through labor, monitor fetal heart tracings, titrate medications to induce labor, titrate medications to stop pre-term labor, circulate in the operating room during cesarean sections, triage patients, and collaborate with other nurses and doctors on my floor.

What limitations do you face in your role? The limitations I face mostly are what the doctors actually do. I can not prescribe medications, I cannot diagnose, I cannot perform surgeries, and I cannot technically deliver babies (though it has happened if [the doctors] don’t get there fast enough!)

What other health professionals do you or do you want to partner with? I partner with just about every health professional in the hospital setting, and even outside the hospital depending on the case. As a nurse, we always want the best for our patients. This has us collaborating with a multidisciplinary team, including social workers, case managers, radiologists, phlebotomists, mental health counselors, doctors in all specialties, etc. This list could go on and on!

What is a misconception about your occupation/title? I think the main misconception is that all nurses only follow doctors orders, give medications, and help people to the bathroom. We do all of these thing, but so much more!

What should other health professionals know about your occupation/title? I think (most) health professionals understand what nurses do. The only health profession that I have had trouble with is doctors. I have been belittled by many, but also have had great working relationships with many as well. 

What should the general public know about the work you do? We work hard – many professions do. Nursing is a mentally and physically draining profession. We typically work 12-hour shifts, which can often lead to 16-hour shifts with minimal, if any, breaks. It’s a lifestyle. We have such a passion for what we do and always have our patient’s best interest at heart. We often wish we could duplicate ourselves at work to get everything we need to do.

What lead you to do the work you do? I have always loved math and science and caring for people just comes naturally to me. I didn’t always know I wanted to be a nurse, it wasn’t until I was a year into college and changed my major. I can’t imagine doing anything else and absolutely love my job. 

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