Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got into caregiving?
Hi. I'm Patty, a registered nurse, going on 26 years. I live in San Jose. I've been all over California. I've also been all over the world when I was in the Navy. I pretty much done every kind of nursing there is - mostly ER, ICU, occupational health, forensic nursing. I've been a nursing instructor. I've also been a teacher for 23 years before I became an RN. But I love working with patients, and I learn a great deal from them. When I was six years old I really wanted to become a physician like my uncle. When I graduated from Boston University, I came back out to the West Coast. I was one of two students in that nursing program I had taught for about 23 years, prior to that.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
I became the nurse who took care of Stanford's very first double lung patient. It was wonderful, and she's still doing well today.
What piece of advice would you give to a new caregiver?
I think one is I have a lot of empathy. I like to listen first to see what's on their mind, what they want, how they're feeling, how I can make what they're going through better. I like to understand. One piece of advice when I have a new caregiver is what I always said to all my students, whether they're students or nursing students is always to ask before you go and try something. It might be something new. There might be new ways of doing it, so you want to make sure you're doing it right before you do it.
What is your proudest moment as a caregiver?
The moments that make me most proud of being a caregiver or a nurse are getting my patients to smile and hopefully, to laugh. So, I do a lot of demonstrations to help them think of a great place to be, like the ocean.