Category Archives: Nursing

What Is A Doula And Why I Became A One

Just call me Tanya The Doula! Ever heard of the phrase “slow and steady wins the race?” Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you have. There was a time a couple of years ago where I had no idea what my purpose in life was. Although I had an idea, of course, I allowed doubt and fear to creep in. I now know that my purpose in life is to be of service to others; it’s who I am.

I mentioned the phrase “slow and steady wins the race” because it means if you work slow and are consistent, you will succeed better. My friends, this is what I’ve been doing. I have not accomplished all of my goals, but I’ve been working on them slowly and have been accomplishing some as time goes by.

This brings me to today’s post. I know you’ve seen the title, so you’re wondering why I was saying all of that instead of getting to the point, Ha! Last week was national Doula week, so I think this is the perfect time to announce to you and the world my newest accomplishment and business venture. I’ve had a keen interest in Maternal and Child Health for a while, and that interest was sparked even more as I pursued my Public Health degree. I’ve done many research on maternal health, especially among the African American community, and that prompted me to think of ways I can give back and help. I decided to do that by becoming a Doula. Last September, I trained to become a Doula. It has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. 

WHAT IS A DOULA?

For those of you who don’t know what a Doula is. A Doula is a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to a mother before, during, and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible. (DONA.org). So, to be honest, A Doula is the support system you didn’t know you needed. In recent years, Doulas have made a resurgence in today’s society. There has been much research done about the benefits of having continuous labor support. 

BENEFITS OF HAVING A DOULA

  1. A positive birth experience
  2. Fill in the gaps with support
  3. Individual childbirth Education
  4. Decreases the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience by 31%
  5. Provides support mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically
  6. Reduces the rate of C-section by 39%
  7. There’s an 8% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth
  8. We have a great connection to local resources

I became a Doula to make a difference in the lives of women and families. To be an advocate and to ensure that every mother’s birth outcome is positive. I was trained to be a Doula, Childbirth Educator, and I’m working on becoming a certified Breastfeeding counselor. I have the privilege of being mentored by an amazing birth worker. I can’t call her just a Doula because she does it all and is amazing in this Doula community. I want to give a shout-out to my mentor Esther from the Metro Mommy Agency. I have all the tools to be the best Doula I can be and run my Doula business because of her. 

As time goes by, I will share my experience and share my clients’ experiences here on the blog, so I can continue to educate you more about this community the importance of having a Doula as part of your birth plan.

As a Doula, my purpose is to support your birth vision, bring oneness to your body and mind. I am here to amplify your experiences and, of course, empower you to find your strength from within.

call me Tanya The Doula

MY DOULA SERVICES

I’ll take this time to say I am accepting new clients. If you or anyone you know is expecting and think a Doula is a right fit( I hope you do consider), please send me an email, and we can set up a consultation. I am here to help you from the Prenatal stage, Labor support, and postpartum stage. I am all about educating, empowering, and promoting positivity!

  1. Prenatal: Birth planning, addressing your concerns. get your partner involved by teaching them comfort measures and what to expect.
  2. Continuous Labor Support: No matter how long your labor is, I am with you! I work on call. I’ll be your speed dial person. I do home births and hospital births. I will remain with you and your family up to 3 hours after your delivery.
  3. Postpartum care: 24 to 72 hours after delivery. I’ll be there once you’re discharged from the hospital. I will provide newborn care, light housekeeping, meal prepping during the first six weeks.

Have you or anyone ever had an experience with a Doula? Comment below what your experience is/was. Do you think you would have a Doula as part of your birth plan when that time comes?

Nurse of The Month: Shena Joseph

I started the year out with a goal to highlight Nurses I admired every month. If I can be honest, I was scared to death because I didn’t know how you guys would have received it and the process of getting the Nurses to agree to do such a thing gave me anxiety. After all the self-doubt I did it; I made the decision and I was determined to highlight some fabulous people in the Nursing profession and now I’m pleased that I made it this far.

This month’s feature is someone from my home country (Antigua). I have been trying to get this particular individual to be featured since my second feature but we both had conflicts with our schedules and I am a firm believer that nothing happens before its time so the time was right and here we are. This month’s feature is Shena Joseph.

Shena was born in the US but grew up in Antigua and attended The Christ The King High School which is one of the most prestigious high school in Antigua, the other one being the Antigua Girls’ High school which I attended and we were seen as rivals lol. This interview was a bit different from my usual emailing interview, this interview was a phone conversation.

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How did you know Nursing was your calling?

Actually, I had no desire to be a nurse. I always wanted to be a doctor but I didn’t choose a specialty, I just knew I wanted to be in dermatology and/or dentistry because anyone that knows me, knows I am obsessed with skincare and my teeth so when I graduated from high school I knew I was going to be one of those two.

Back in my high school days I was a tennis player and I was being scouted by tennis coaches. My parents always had a plan for me to move to the US to further my education since I was born in the US. When I migrated to the US after graduating high school, I had to do an additional 2 years of high school here because back in Antigua I graduated when I was 15 (ages 15/16 are the average age a person graduates High school in the Caribbean). After being scouted by tennis coaches, I moved to South Carolina to a school geared towards athletes. While there, I was top of my class with a 5.0 GPA and got recruited to attend a summer forum at Emory which was geared towards the top science students around the South region. During this forum, I got to shadow Nurses, Physician assistants, Nurse practitioners just to name a few. While there I got to see cadavers, I got to witness a full knee replacement surgery and I also got to shadow a dentist as well. Upon leaving this forum, I was still adamant that I was destined to be a Doctor or Dentist. I also liked the aspect of Nursing but in my much younger naive years my whole perspective of Nursing was that it was not seen as a go to profession. I honestly thought Nurses were beneath doctors and I consider myself to be someone that takes the lead and therefore I could not see myself having to answer to all of the bosses; of course I was in High school at the time and didn’t really know much about Nursing. I left the forum knowing I wanted to be a dentist because I could see myself doing that.

Tell us about your journey to Nursing.

I went to Lincoln Memorial University which is a division 2 athletic school in Tennessee where I played tennis and was number 1 in doubles and number two in the singles. During this time I was still competing and was still focused on my academia because I knew playing tennis wasn’t going to be the end all for me, I wanted more out of life. While at the university I enrolled in the pre-dentistry program with biology being a focus, I also took some psych classes that were prerequisites for the program. I was an A student in physics but the pre-Dental and Dental curriculum was filled with a lot of physics classes and I decided that I didn’t want to do it anymore, I went to plan B. After talking with a friend’s mother who is Physician Assistant, she told me I should take the nursing route because when you become a Nurse I wil be exposed to many different specialties. I started doing my research and visited the Nursing program at the school and my parents were very supportive but not my tennis coach was not because he thought I was too smart to be a Nurse and that I needed to be a doctor. I was back and forth and decided to do another year of pre dentistry and I was not liking it so I made the switch to Nursing. I had enough credits to switch over to pre Nursing. I got accepted to the program but then I started having some problems with my tennis team. I was doing well on a team that was predominantly white so there were some racial issues. After talking to my parents they suggested I move to New York since I had family there and give it a try. I contacted a few schools about transferring. Columbia University, NYU, and Hofstra University were some of the schools who reached out to me about playing on their tennis team but they were not offering  full scholarship and I did not want to grafuate school with any debt. Hunter College offered me a position on their team which was division 3, lower than what I was used to but for a public school they are one of the top Nursing schools in the country. I got a full scholarship and I was number one and two on the doubles and singles tennis team. Then I hit a roadblock while at Hunter. After meeting with my advisor, I was told that I needed to be attending the school for at least a year before being accepted into their nursing program. I did not want to do another unnecessary year of undergraduate. I had a lot of psychology credits from my previous school so my advisor recommended that I get my degree in psychology and then do the accelerated Nursing program which is what I did. I finished my bachelor’s in Psychology with a 3.9 GPA. I applied to the Accelerated nursing program. The Nursing program is very competitive, they only select 30 students out of 300 applicants, and I was one of the fortunate ones to be accepted.

How would you describe the Nursing program?

The nursing program was hell! The nursing program was designed for you to fail. I did not have much of a life while in nursing school. I was always studying, my stress levels were always in the 90’s, the exams were hard and I have cried many times to mom because of the stress and competitive nature of the program. Looking back I don’t even know how I survived, I guess it was survival of the fittest. I pushed through and at the end of the program, I graduated with a 3.7 GPA.

How did you choose your specialty?

While I was doing my clinical rotation, my Pediatric  and Labor and Delivery rotation is the one I loved the most. I just didn’t see myself working in geriatrics. I did not like the smell nor the workload that working in that area came with. During my Labor and Delivery rotation, the one part I did not like about that rotation was the postpartum. I fell in love with Pediatrics.

Tell us about your specialty.

Pediatric ranges from newborns to age twenty one and in some states twenty four. I was fortunate enough to have had my clinical rotation at one of the top hospitals in New York,The New York Presbyterian hospital. We treat patients with Respiratory infections, scoliosis repair, quadriplegic patients, patients with trach care just to name a few. I would sometimes get floated to the general floor to treat patients who are critical.

You mentioned you were working on getting your Nurse Practitioner degree. Explain what the process is like.

The program I am in, it is required that you have one year of nursing experience before applying. You also need good references; for me I was able to get a letter of recommendation from the Dean of the Nursing school and some other professors. This is why it is important to network and build relationships. I had to do an admission exam that’s called the Graduate Nursing Admission Test and for my program you must have a GPA of 3.2 or above.

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Any Advice for Nursing students and for those wanting to pursue a career in Nursing?

It is important to know that everyone is different and everyone learns differently. I know for I am more of a visual person so for me, watching YouTube videos about topics I didn’t quite understand really helped me. The most important thing is to figure out your learning style and go to each class with that mentality.

What are your Plans for the future as far as Nursing goes?

I don’t really like the bedside nursing per se, I like being a leader and I don’t think there is a lot of leadership roles in my position as a bedside nurse. With being a Nurse practitioner, I would have a little more flexibility and have more independence with my career. The sky is the limit when it comes to nursing. There are so many opportunities in this field. However, I have had many opportunities come my way and one of that is the opportunity to join the Air-Force. I’m working on getting my get Nurse Practitioner’s degree and then I want to get my doctorate. I want to open my own practice and do so much more but for now I just want to focus on getting my Nurse Practitioner’s degree. At the end of my Nurse Practitioner degree I will graduate with a Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN). I know that my next step is going to be the highlight of my career.

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Shena Joseph RN, BSN

Nurse of The Month: Pamela Zellner

Ever since I knew I wanted to pursue a career Nursing, I always said I would like to be a Nurse like carol Hathaway (ER fans would know) and at one point I wanted to be the Christina Yang of Nursing then I thought maybe I need to be the Meredith Grey of Nursing since she has a Harper Avery award. I know, I know all these are fictional characters but there’s one Nurse that I’ve had the privilege to work with that is the perfect combination of all 3 of these women. She’s fierce and really good at her job and is very family oriented which is a plus for me; with her busy work schedule she always finds the time to be superwoman to her children and husband. This month’s feature is my Charge Nurse in the PICU, someone whose presence brings me joy when I’m at work, She is also a very good teacher to the novice nurses.

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Tell me about yourself.

My name is Pamela Zellner.  I have been married to my husband, Jason, for 15 years, and we have two precious children, Dylan who is 12 and Megan who is 9.  I have been a nurse for 16 years and I have spent my entire career in the Pediatric ICU at The Children’s Hospital in Macon, GA.  My hobbies include reading, running, traveling, and eating chocolate.  Jesus Christ is my very best friend and I love the life He has given me!

Why did you become a nurse?
I became a nurse because I love children and I wanted a career where I could serve people, especially kids.

When did you realize nursing was your calling?
I think I’ve always known deep down that I wanted to be a nurse. I was never the kid that wanted to be a teacher or anything like that. I knew I wanted to work with kids and that I wanted to be in the medical field. When I was in 5th grade and my grandfather was lying in a hospital bed dying, I kept wiping his face with a cool rag over and over. I remember his nurse telling me that I would make a good nurse. That always stuck with me so if I had to choose one moment where I knew nursing was my calling, I would definitely choose that one.

What specialty and where are you working now?
I started my nursing career in 2002 in the Pediatric ICU at The Children’s Hospital. After 16 years, I am still here. I have worked night shift all 16 years, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! I love my job and the amazing nurses, doctors, techs, MR’s, and respiratory therapists that I’ve had the privilege of working with over the years.

List the 5 most interesting things about your specialty.

  1. We are located in Macon, GA but we serve a much larger population. We get patients from all over Central and South Georgia. We’re located right off I-75 so we also get many patients from out of state who are traveling through the area.
  2. Our patients range from newborn babies who have gone home and then get sick to teenagers, to sometimes adult patients who have pediatric disorders and are still followed by pediatric doctors. We also get a lot of what we call NNICU grads, babies who have spent many months in the NNICU but aren’t ready to go home, so they graduate to the PICU.
  3. We have amazing teamwork in the PICU!!! Our intensive care doctors are amazing and actually listen to nurses and take our advice about patients. We call most of them by their first names!
  4. We love to have fun in our unit! It’s not uncommon to find us having a breakout dance party in the middle of the unit.
  5. We have many patients that “live” in the PICU and we enjoy being their “fake Mama’s” when their families can’t be there. We really do love the patients like they’re our own!!!

What was your biggest obstacle in nursing/nursing school?


My biggest obstacle in nursing has been sticking it out during the hard times. There have been many times during my 16 years where we’ve had a lot of staff turnover. It’s very frustrating to work so hard to train nurses to just have them quit soon after.
What is the #1 thing you wish you had been told as a nursing student?
The #1 thing I wish I had been told as a nursing student is that no matter how much you study in nursing school, no matter how much clinical time you have, you never really learn how to be a nurse until you start working as an actual 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?

I had a great experience as a novice nurse. My co-workers were very helpful and supportive of me as I learned to make it on my own. My advice for novice nurses is to ask questions!!!! You will never know it all so please don’t hesitate to ask questions…there are no dumb ones!

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Nurse of The Month: Alexia Josiah

It is always a joy when you see your peers doing great things, which for me serves as motivation to keep aiming for the top. This month’s feature is someone who I went to High school with and it brings me great joy to feature her as October’s Nurse of the month. I’m very proud of her accomplishments thus far. Read her story below.

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Nurse of The Month: Araby Ephraim

It’s always a good thing when you see other people excelling in different areas of their lives, it’s also even more special when you know the person. This month’s feature is someone who grew up on the same Island as me and we even went to the same primary school together. Today I’m proud to feature her on my blog as a Nurse of the Month. Check out her story below.  Continue reading

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. 

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Nurse of The Month: Jada Evans

Ever met someone and right away you just hit it off? That’s how it was with this month’s feature. I don’t know what it is but we just clicked and I felt like I knew her for a very long time. As you know, I recently started working at the Children’s hospital, this was my first clinical job that I’ve had where I was going to be working with children; I have all my experience with the geriatrics population. I’ve had to learn a lot being in this new environment. EVERYONE at my job really believes in teamwork. Although, everyone is amazing, there’s this one Nurse that I got attached to and developed a bond in such a short space of time. She’s super smart and is a badass at what she does, an amazing teacher, she has taught me a lot in such short space of time. It’s only right that I show my appreciation to her by making her this month’s feature. Read her story below.

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Nurse of The Month: Emelda Benjamin

Ever felt connected to a person but never met them? This is how I feel about this month’s feature. Almost a year ago I became close to Emelda’s daughter via social media when I saw a tweet stating her mom was sick. I sent her DM right away sending my well wishes and we hit it off right there and then. I would periodically check in on her mom to see how she was doing. I found out later her mom had cancer and was also a Nurse, and that bond grew stronger. I felt like I was on the journey with them, I received updates on her chemo appointments. I would just offer up my support as much as I could. It was only right I featured her on my blog as she’s such a warrior! I sent these interview questions while she was completing her last rounds of chemotherapy and she took the time out to answer them. I’m happy to say that This month’s Nurse of the month Emelda Benjamin is now a proud cancer survivor.

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Nurse of The Month: Tiffany Wurie

It’s that time of the month! I’m so excited about this month’s feature. This month’s feature is someone who is very near and dear to my heart; she’s someone I’ve known all my life. She’s also one of the many reasons why I decided to pursue a career in nursing. Her Story is one I’m truly happy to share. April’s Nurse of The Month is my cousin Tiffany Wurie.

“The road to success is not always a straight line”. Sometimes you just have to be determined.
After a rough start in college, Tiffany Wurie finally decided to pursue a career in Nursing. The first obstacle was grades that weren’t stellar. After many rejections, finally came an acceptance to an Associate Nursing Program where she graduated in 2011 and continued to complete a BSN in 2014, graduating Summa cum laude. Tiffany specializes in public health and has worked in several areas including pediatrics, trauma, hospice, and managed care. She has an immense love for people, for Nursing, and for learning and she is currently pursuing an MSN in Nursing Administration. She has a passion for health policy, removing barriers to health care and health disparities. She hopes to one day impact the way minorities especially view and receive health care.
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