This week marks National Nurses Week, an annual recognition for all of the selfless, compassionate (and often sleep-deprived) nurses around the country who are working hard to provide care to patients and their families.
Nurses are a special breed; they hold volumes of life-saving medical knowledge while maintaining the role of a caregiver. They are often the first and primary contact for patients during stressful and emotional medical experiences.
So, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the nurses out there – we are grateful for all that you do.
Here at WriterGirl, we’re lucky enough to have a nurse of our own. Carol Chase, a WriterGirl writer and reviewer, started her nursing career more than 30 years ago. She’s spent the last three decades as a staff nurse, a psychiatric nurse and as a nurse paralegal with a medical malpractice defense firm.
“I decided to go into nursing during my late teen years because I had been active in my church and felt drawn to helping others,” Carol says. “I loved science and math, but I knew I needed a career with a human touch and nursing fit the bill.”
Carol worked as an intensive case manager with an insurance company. She worked with clients who had both mental and physical illnesses and helped assess their needs, refer them to services, and follow-up with them to evaluate treatment compliance and outcomes. Most recently, she has spent the past three years doing seasonal work as a HEDIS auditor.
“It’s gratifying to know that you have eased someone’s suffering and helped bring them back to wellness,” she says.
In addition to providing that human touch, Carol enjoys nursing for its opportunities and the ability to work in a variety of settings. However, Carol does admit that the long hours can sometimes take a toll, as well as the emotional burden of working with patients who can be broken and vulnerable.
Growing up, Carol always had a special place in her heart for writing and loved crafting short stories and poems. Later, as a nurse, Carol spent time writing education documents, policies and procedures. All of this gave her the ability to easily slide in to a role here at WriterGirl, where she’s worked on writing and reviewing patient education materials. Her background as nurse, of course, also gave her a unique perspective on her WriterGirl projects.
“In nursing, we’re taught that communication is a key element in providing safe and appropriate patient care,” Carol says. “I love that WriterGirl gives me the flexibility I need [working from home] to continue my career, while providing me with challenging opportunities to expand my skills and knowledge.”
When offering advice to fellow healthcare writers, Carol brings her nursing knowledge to the table. She reminds writers to carefully consider their sources, and to make sure they are using credible, up-to-date information.
“Communication is the key to safe and effective health care,” Carol says. “You can’t write based on something you’ve experienced or a piece of information you have from the past – healthcare is dynamic and constantly changing.”
Carol also advises her fellow writers to “never give up on their dreams,” regardless of where they are in their life or career.
“I went back to school the year I turned 50 and it was such a great experience for me,” says Carol, who earned her Master of Science in Nursing. “I never want to stop learning and growing.”
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Editor’s note: This post was originally published in May 2018. It was updated on May 12, 2023.