I love taking care of people. When I was in my 40s I decided to go back to school. I was an avionics technician and the next logical career move was engineering. I remember thinking, But I don’t want to be an engineer! My mother had recently survived a bad stroke and after seeing the care and comfort the nurses provided her, I knew nursing was what I wanted to do. I started nursing school on my 50th birthday!

Helping someone who is critically ill feel better is my favorite part about being a nurse. Administering medications is just a part of that; giving hands-on care, talking with patients, and giving backrubs and baths all seem to aid patients too, whether they are sedated or alert and oriented.

The most exciting thing about critical care is the constant learning. In the intensive care...

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