Sandy Somsen’s Pride Story

Sandy Somsen’s Pride Story

Over the past 19 1/2 years many people have asked why I chose to go into nursing and did I like what it had to offer.  You really don’t know how to answer that question without it sounding like the old cliché, “I really like helping people”, but in actuality this is one of the reasons why I became a nurse.
    
One of the most important, influential and life-changing reasons for becoming a nurse was my son, who had open-heart surgery when he was 8 years old.  I met a minister during this time who had lost four sons to a rare blood disease and was about to lose another.  This man during his pain took the time to say a prayer for my son to come through surgery without complications.  I thought to myself, if there was only a way I could help him because he had been so kind to us.   It was here that I started to realize how much I wanted to do <b><u>something</b></u> to help people.
     
The years passed by and I still wasn’t sure what I was looking for.  I worked at an insurance agency, telephone office, and even as a cook in the school system, yet none of these jobs really fulfilled my interests.  My thoughts would go back to that minister and his sons.  I had the opportunity to work for a wonderful physician as his office manager.  Again my interest in the health care setting started to surface.  My husband and I decided to take the EMT course and join the village emergency response team for the Baldwin Ambulance.  Once the class was done my husband and I would take call on the same weekends so we could be each others moral support and backup.
    
Those years as an EMT made such an impact and set the direction of where I apparently was to spend the rest of my life.  I was faced with many different things on ambulance calls.  It could be a person in a full cardiac arrest; car accident with children;  baby not breathing;  woman in labor; call to look for an elderly person who had wondered away from home in the middle of the winter; or even worse to help a child caught in a piece of farm equipment or one that had committed suicide.  Regardless of what it was you knew that there had to be some way you could help.  What it also made me realize was that I was craving more knowledge and the ability to provide better quality of care for people.  So again my family, friends and, of course the doctor I was working for encouraged me to enter the nursing field.  Again, another turning point in my life.
    
I entered nursing school in my late 30’s and put all of my heart into school, but not without a price.  There were many things I missed doing with my family, such as trips, reunions, camping and even funerals.  My family made many sacrifices for me so I would not get discouraged and quit school, and never once did they complain.  I graduated in 1985 with a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.  I finally reached a goal that meant something to me. 
    
My first job was in a nursing home working as a charge nurse responsible for 65 patients, WOW!!   I had only been there a short time when I received a call from the Baldwin Hospital asking me if I still had an interest in working for them.  It has been the best decision I could have made.  I have been able to be what I’ve always wanted to be, someone who could help people and make a difference in their lives.  I had become a <b>nurse</b>.  I’ve learned so much from so many and have had the privilege to meet many wonderful patients who have made a difference in my life.  I’ve had the opportunity to be a nurse in many roles; staff, charge, chemo, OB, ER, and now an infection control/employee health, nurse educator and even a risk manager, all in one facility.  How many people can say they have so many opportunities and didn’t have to drive more than a few blocks to work. 
     
My life as a nurse has taught me patience, understanding, commitment, the ability to communicate and listen.  Above all it has taught me the value of life.  Thanks to my family, friends, the doctor I worked for and the minister who lost his son, I became what I wanted, a <b>NURSE</b>!   

Sandy Somsen, RN
Employee Health/Infection Control/Risk Management