My call to nursing came in high school when I witnessed a car crash involving several people I knew. I had this strong urge to help even though I had no idea what to do. I decided then that health care was where I should be.
After graduating from Watertown High School in northeastern South Dakota, I went to Augustana College in Sioux Falls to earn my bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Today, I’m a spine navigator at the Avera Brain and Spine Institute Spine Center. I listen to patients’ concerns, help them find the right specialist for their spine care needs and coordinate their care throughout the entire treatment process. Not only do I get the fulfillment of being a patient advocate, I work with a great team.
Before becoming a spine navigator, I worked in the Emergency Department and Express Admit Unit at Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center. I also was a resource nurse on the neurology and cardiopulmonary units.
Clear communication, honesty and empathetic listening are essential to being successful in health care. I also believe that the “patient” is not just one person, but often includes family members, significant others or friends who have needs to be addressed in regards to the patient’s care. I keep these beliefs in mind every day when I work with both patients and coworkers alike.
My husband, Chad, and I have a spunky 1 ½ -year-old daughter, and we’re expecting another little one soon! Our family wouldn’t be complete without our dog, Watson.
During my spare time, I enjoy gardening, camping and decorating my house with the changing seasons. My friends and I even participate in a Fantasy Football League, which keeps me entertained during the NFL season!