Nurse of The Month: Shariefka Hillman

Hey Guys! It’s a new month, which means it’s time for a bew feature. This month’s feature is someone I’ve grown to love and appreciate, I see so much of myself in her and her work ethic and love for her job is something that I truly admire. You can guarantee that whenever you’re in her presence, you WILL laugh. She is as cool as a cucumber and smart as a whip. It is my pleasure to feature her as this month’s Nurse of the Month. Take a read below. 

Tell me a little about yourself.

 

My name is Shariefka (pronounced ShaReeKa, and yes the F is silent) Hillman and I’m 25 years old. I’m from Irwinton, a small middle Georgia town where I was raised by my mother. I have 3 brothers and 2 sisters, just one niece and twin nephews-for now. My favorite sibling though (and they all know haha) is my little brother, Justus, who is the funniest and smartest 10 year old I know! I don’t have any kids of my own yet but I do have Chloe, my 2 year old Shih Tzu. I enjoy spending time with my family, sleeping, and traveling with my friends whenever I’m not working.

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Q: Why did you become a Nurse?

S: Ever since I can remember, I never considered being anything but a nurse. So the only logical answer I have is that this was God’s purpose for my life. I love caring for my patients and lending a helping hand to make them feel better.

Q: When did you realize Nursing was your calling ?
S: Like I stated previously, I’ve always seen myself being a nurse and I realized early on that nursing was my calling. Often, well a lot actually, parents will tell me they don’t see how I do what I do and honestly I just don’t see how I couldn’t.

Q: Where did you start your Nursing career?
S: I began my nursing school education at Georgia Southern University and graduated in 2014 with my BSN. I was offered a job in Pediatric Critical Care (Pediatric ICU and Stepdown) at the Children’s Hospital in Macon just weeks before graduating and that’s where it all began!

Q: What specialty and where are you working now?
S: I am still working in Peds Critical Care where I’m currently training as a charge nurse and to be a member of the transport team.

Q: List the 5 most interesting things about your specialty.

1. The amazing people I work with (nurses, MDs, RRTs, techs and nurse externs) that put our patients first
2. I care for patients ranging from only days old up to their teenage years.
3. We care for patients with a variety of diagnoses such as trauma (MVCs/drownings), respiratory illnesses requiring ventilator support, neurological problems, and suicide attempts.
4. Some days we comfort parents and families as they say their final goodbyes to their child.
5. It’s Pediatrics! Everyday isn’t sad or bad, I got to dress up as Doc McStuffins for Halloween!

Q: What was your biggest obstacle in nursing/nursing school?
S: The biggest obstacle for me during nursing school was managing the relationships with my family and friends, while still doing well in school. School took up a lot of my time but luckily I had supportive friends and family to help me get through it.

Q: What is the #1 thing you wish you had been told as a nursing student?
S: I wish I was told that it helps to get experience outside of nursing school and to find a mentor in nursing to help guide you along the way even after you have become a nurse.

Can you tell us what was your experience as a novice Nurse? Do you have any advice/tips for prospective Nurses as well as the novice nurse?
S: Becoming a nurse is the most terrifying, yet rewarding career imaginable. When I first started, I was scared to touch my 5kg babies, didn’t understand anything about ventilators, and starting IVs/needle sticks were always a task for my charge nurse. I just didn’t have the confidence I needed to ask questions and believe in myself. But now, 4 years later I am proud of my development as a nurse and as a person. I am training to be a charge nurse and transport nurse for our critical care transport team which will require me to put my critical thinking and nursing skills to test, because it’ll only be myself and an RRT on the ambulance.
My advice to anyone considering being a nurse or new to the nursing field is to realize you don’t know it all and DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS! That being said, you must also be confident in yourself and trust your clinical judgement. Remember why you became a nurse and give your patients the best care that you can.

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