Nurse of The Month: Shelby Dozier

It’s a new month means it’s time for a new Nurse to be featured. This month’s feature is someone who I work with and who makes our shift goes by fast with her fun quirky personality. She is incredibly smart and is someone who you can see truly loves being a nurse. Read her story below.

Tell us a little about yourself

My name is Shelby Dozier and I’ve been a nurse in the Pediatric ICU for 3 years. I love caring for children and couldn’t imagine working in any other specialty. I have one fur baby, a chubby corgi named Presley. When I’m not working I enjoy taking Presley on walks, trying new restaurants, hanging out with family and friends, going to the beach, crafting, and sleeping (night shift makes you really tired, okay?). I also just started pediatric nurse practitioner school, so life is about to get crazy for me!

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Why did you become a nurse?

I became a nurse because I have a passion for helping people. I became a nurse because it allows you to form close relationships with patients and families and leaves you feeling so fulfilled at the end of the day knowing you made a difference in someone’s life. There is nothing as fulfilling as taking care of a patient when they come in at their sickest, and being able to witness them be discharged after weeks of being in the hospital. I also love the teamwork that comes with being a nurse and how your coworkers become your second family.

When did you realize nursing was your calling ?

I’ve known I wanted to be a nurse since I was a little girl. I’ve found little projects from elementary school  where the question was “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and my answer was always “A nurse!” I’ve never really considered any other career.

Where did you start your nursing career?

I started my nursing career in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health.

What specialty and where are you working now?

I’m still in the PICU where it all began! I’ve been there for 3 years now and I still love it just as much as I did in the beginning.

List the 5 most interesting things about your specialty.

5 interesting things about my specialty would be:

  1. We care for newborns up to 18 years of age and sometimes into their 20’s depending on their illness. A lot of people hear PICU and think I just take care of babies and that is farthest from the truth! Some of my favorites patients are the older children and teenagers, although I love my babies just as much!
  2. In my specialty, we can see the sickest of the sick as well as patients that may be being discharged the next day. Even though my specialty can be filled with bad days and sadness, the good days far outweigh the bad. It helps to have amazing coworkers that are right next to you when times get tough.
  3. The multidisciplinary team in PICU consists of many different caregivers that all come together and make our unit function. You will see so many different people coming through the unit on any given day including doctors, residents, NP’s, nurses, nurse externs, techs, medical receptionists, child life specialists, respiratory therapists, physical therapy, occupational therapy, laboratory techs, and the list goes on and on. Each and every person plays an important role and we couldn’t function without each other!
  4. Although our hospital switched to wearing specific scrub colors a few years ago according to your specialty, there are occasions we get to DRESS UP for the kids! These are some of my favorite days. Examples include Christmas, Halloween, and even some game days. The staff and kids especially love halloween!
  5. As a nurse in the PICU, once we are done with our nursing duties, you are likely to find us rolling kids around in wagons, letting them sit in our laps at the nurses station, playing with toys in their room, allowing the patients meet the therapy dogs, and letting them watch paw patrol on our phones (hey, anything to keep them happy, right?)                                                                                                                          

What was your biggest obstacle in nursing/nursing school?

My biggest obstacle in nursing school was time management and getting used to the tests/studying. The tests and amount of time dedicated to studying was something I had never encountered before nursing school, so it took some time to get used to.              

What is the #1 thing you wish you had been told as a nursing student?

I wish I had been told that as long as you work hard and dedicate your time to studying the material and keep school a priority, it will be so worth it end the end! There were many times I felt discouraged and felt like I would never reach the end.

Can you tell us what was your experience as a novice nurse? Do you have any advice/tips for prospective nurses as well the novice nurse?

Life as a new nurse was definitely challenging for me, especially coming into an ICU as a new nurse with no experience. There were days where I thought I was in over my head, but as the days went by I found myself becoming more and more comfortable and confident in what I was doing. It takes time to get used to being a “real nurse” after nursing school. My advice to prospective and novice nurses would be to take it day by day, and don’t expect to know everything right out of school. Ask questions, I promise their are no dumb questions and experienced nurses would MUCH rather you ask questions than to potentially harm the patient. And always remember your coworkers are there to help you! If you get overwhelmed, ask for help, that’s what coworkers are there for! 🙂

If you had 5 minutes to speak to a Group of people on one issue in the healthcare field what would you say?

Hmm, I’ve never really thought about this but I would probably choose to speak about under staffing and staff burnout. Under staffing is a problem so many hospitals and units face and it causes wonderful nurses to want to leave the bedside for better work conditions, not to mention nurses taking on a large number of patients ultimately puts the patient at risk for harm. I believe if nurses were provided with consistent and safe nurse/patient ratios more nurses would want to stay at the bedside and patients would receive the best care they could receive. I know so many factors play into staffing, but it’s something we can be hopeful that may change in the future!

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Shelby’s dog Presley

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