SusanMclean is a Women`s Health Nursing Practitioner (WHNP). I chose tointerview her because she was always enthusiastic in what she did. Atone point, I heard her say, "since I started my nursingprofession, over 35 years ago, I have come in contact withopportunities that I could never imagine when I started my career. Ihave had the chance to work together with experts to improve thehealth of women patients, the opportunity to better the lives ofwomen, and even see patients come into the hospital in deplorablestates and leave smiling and walking on both feet!" I met Mcleanat a family friend`s wedding anniversary and decided that she was theperfect candidate for my interview. The goal of this writing is toshow Mclean`s journey, as she told it during the interview, thelessons she got from her experience, and what I learned aboutchoosing specific paths, the circumstances surrounding people, andthe results of the choices that one elects to make.
Mclean`saspiration to become a nurse began after she saw how patients in amental care facility were being treated by their caregivers she wasstill in high school. The suffering these people underwent made herwant to find ways of helping vulnerable people in society. After highschool, she joined Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and pursueda BSc in Nursing Degree. While on holiday, she volunteered at theBritish Red Cross. Her volunteer work helped her relate theory withpractice. Although she did not treat patients, she saw how drugs werebeing administered and how doctors and nurses interacted with theirpatients. Mclean also interacted with many people, other volunteers,and patients. She listened to what they had to say about thehealthcare system and the changes, which if effected, could lead tosignificant modifications in the health sector. Some of the ideas sheheard were so good that she noted them down.
Upongraduation, Mclean was employed as an adult nurse at the St. ThomasHospital. This position acquainted her with many people and exposedher to the problems that patients underwent, not only in the hands oftheir caregivers but also because of the poor policies that had beenimplemented in hospitals. Examples of such systems are, nurses wererequired to complete their tasks, follow the instructions that theirseniors had given without questioning anything, and avoid gettingpersonal with patients. Although these processes achieved efficiency,they failed to address the particular needs of patients. Suchrealizations prompted Mclean to work harder to elevate herself to aposition that would allow her to influence the implementation ofpolicies that would favor the well-being of patients.
However,at certain points in her life, Mclean was forced to put her career onhold to care for her family. Mclean realized that her ambitionresulted in her spending less time with her family, so she decided tofind a way to balance her work and her private life. Rather than quither job, Mclean decided that she would be visiting her family once inevery two weeks, and requested her husband to visit her together withthe children whenever he had an off day since she had been moved to adifferent town. This step not only brought Mclean closer to herfamily but also increased her motivation to impact more changes inthe health sector through her profession.
Afterpracticing nursing for several years, Mclean decided to become awomen`s health nursing practitioner (WHNP). Her decision was informedby the suffering, among women patients that she had witnessed in herline of work. Also, because statistics indicated that women comprisemore than 50% of the global population, and they, ultimately,determine the success of family healthcare. These realizations madeher believe that by ensuring the woman is healthy, other portions ofthe population would benefit as well: men and children. She alsobelieved that the health of women was dependent on all factors thatshape life, that is, her family, relationships, spiritual values,work life, and the community as a whole. Therefore, gender-focusedhealth assessment was critical to impacting how women reacted todistances and wellness. Since women are better positioned tounderstand the problems of their fellow women, WHNP would help Mcleancater to the needs of women extensively. Also, her training wouldallow her to treat selected reproductive health issues of men.
Mcleanunderwent a curriculum that included obstetrics, education in generalhealth assessment, obstetrics, clinical therapeutics, diseaseprevention, health promotion, and common non-reproductive healthailments to become a WHNP specialist. As a WHNP practitioner, Mcleangained skills in decision-making, critical thinking, andcommunication. She also was knowledgeable in the intricacies ofunderstanding how, by virtue of being a woman, disease and health canaffect the wellbeing of a person. As a WHNP, Mclean integrated legaland ethical aspects into her practice, as well as incorporating thevarious realities of life into healthcare plans that met the needs ofwomen. Also, Mclean continued to practice nursing in her privateoffice. Her traditional practice allowed her to help educationalinstitutions develop curricula for their students and pursue healthpractice within a home setting. She could also care for outpatients,provide long-term care for patients, work in a community setting, anda hospital.
Mclean`sWHNP certification advanced numerous new opportunities for her,professionally. The certification contributed significantly tobuilding valuable RN experiences for her, in addition to avice-chairperson position at the British Women`s Health Council.Through her position, Mclean was able to provide healthcare to womensuffering various ailments directly, educate new WHNP recruits on howto cater to the needs of women, and lastly, work with policymakers toensure that all policies, affecting women, were, in fact,"woman-friendly." Mclean`s interaction with women andpeople at different positions of influence helped her understand theplight of women better.
Mclean`sefforts helped her become a co-owner and co-developer of Women`sHealthcare Partnership Inc., an initiative that is multi-disciplinaryin nature. The initiative brings together advanced practices innursing, mental health, and health education to enhance the healthoutcomes of women and reduce needless healthcare costs. Mclean`spartner was a female health psychologist. Together, they collaboratedwith women`s health practitioners to address high-risk pregnancies,disordered eating, postpartum depression, sexual dysfunction, andmenopause problems. Mclean, as the WHNP expert, provided healtheducation and counseling to women in groups or individually. Throughher position of influence, Mclean was able to transform theconventional and rigid policies adopted by hospitals to modern, moreflexible systems. Mclean fought to see the realization of policiesthat gave nurses the independence they needed to make informativedecisions regarding the type of treatment and care to administer topatients.
Mclean`sstory helped me come to the realization that a person`s devotion toher work always yields the desired results. Mclean`s story did notseem like one that was informed by the desire to be employed, but onedriven by a desire to impact change through the skills received fromthe nursing experience. Mclean`s story inspired me to review mypriorities and begin viewing my nursing education as one that can beused to bring about change. I also realized that one`s circumstancesor gender qualities deterred many people from achieving their goals.Mclean`s desire to have a family and grow it did not prevent her frompursuing her goals. Life, as I currently perceive it, is about thechoices that one makes and not the surrounding circumstances. Havingthe courage to confront one’s fears and taking a leap of faith areinvaluable traits in the nursing profession. Simply, put, I came tothe realization that one does not have to come from an influentialfamily or be very connected to begin the journey of impacting change,all a person needs is dedication.
Ina recap of the above discussion, Mclean`s story inspired me to choosea path and focus all my energy toward that path. Mclean faced herchallenges with an open mind and sought ways of overcoming them.Additionally, I realized that one`s desire to impact change is moreimpactful since the fruits of one`s efforts are invaluable.