“I Am a Critical Care Nurse” features the extraordinary in a critical care nurse’s ordinary experiences. To be featured in this department, contact Critical Care Nurse via e-mail at ccn@aacn.org.

I have been surrounded by health care professionals for as long as I can remember. At 6 months old I was diagnosed with bilateral hydronephrosis, which subsequently led to the deterioration of one of my kidneys. When I was 9 years old I began to understand the role of the doctors and nurses in charge of my care. I was recovering from a partial left nephrectomy in the ICU and can still recall telling my mother, “One day, I will help sick kids like me.”

In 2004, I received a kidney transplant. Working as an ICU nurse and being a transplant patient gives me an advantage: it provides me with a unique perspective that allows me to better identify...

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