from the November 2021 RNFa eNews


City & State
Huntington, WV

Current Position (Outside NIFA Workshops)
RNFA for an orthopedic group

What made you choose nursing in the first place?
Living in West Virginia, there is not a lot of high-quality employment. Well-paying jobs existed but they tended to be in coal mines and power plants, and they weren’t easy to come by. Nursing seemed like a way to have a good job that paid well.

How did you come to choose perioperative nursing?
When I was in nursing school, one of the local schools was hiring nursing students, training them as surgical techs and enabling them to get a little experience that way. One of the instructors suggested it might be good for me. I fell in love with it and have been working in the OR for the last 22 years.

When did you first get involved with NIFA?
In 2013 I was a student in a Denver, CO, SutureStar™ workshop and met Dean. I’ve been co-teaching workshops since 2017 and this year instructed a course on my own.

What do you enjoy about teaching the SutureStar™ Workshops?
I really enjoy it when you’ve got a student in there who’s sharing the same passion, wanting to learn it and wanting to be the best they can be, struggling—and all of a sudden the light bulb comes on. Sometimes when  we’re working on the hands-on portion, maybe the verbiage changes, or maybe I slow it down to where it becomes clearer for them or explain a movement that they hadn’t noticed before, and all of a sudden it clicks. Little things can help trigger it for them.

What is one interest or ability you have outside of surgical skills that might surprise people?
I am an avid fly fisherman. I tie my own flies, which shares some of the same skills I use in the OR. West Virginia has decent streams to fish on.