Clinician Spotlight: Dominque (LPN, Virginia)
Nursing is the sweet spot of healthcare: a fast paced environment combined with close patient care. Check out Dominque's journey to nursing here.
You know that feeling when something just clicks, finally? That's the best way to describe Dominque’s experience with nursing. After working as a Personal Care Assistant in home health, Dominque knew she needed to find something that was more fast paced. But, working as a Medical Assistant meant she was no longer providing the patient care that allowed her to develop close relationships with the people she was helping.
So, in 2014 Dominque decided to take the leap and go to nursing school. As an LPN, Dominque found the sweet spot of healthcare: a fast paced work environment coupled with close patient care helped Dominque discover her passion for nursing.
Dominque’s commitment to care giving hasn’t wavered. She recently started a new job at a hospital so she can get more clinical experience working with acute patients. Dominque balances this full time job with picking up per diem shifts through connectRN, studying to go back to school for her RN, and being a Mom to her 13 year old son.
It’s safe to say Dominque’s plate is full, but her busy schedule doesn't faze her.
“I just take it day by day,” Dominque said. “When I pick up with connectRN, I make sure those days are free of as much else as I can.”
She likes to follow the recommendations of other Connectors to pick which facilities to work at so that she knows what to expect. Dominque chooses her shifts based on the experiences of other Connectors, which made getting started with connectRN far less intimidating.
When things don’t go as planned, Dominque is naturally able to shake it off and move on. It’s this resiliency that we find most inspiring! Dominque dives into any situation she is handed and remains dedicated to connecting with the patients and residents she works with. Her favorite aspect of home care was connecting with people whose ages ranged from early twenties to late nineties.
“It was fun to educate the younger patients about how to care for themselves and maintain their health. With older patients, they just appreciate seeing a familiar face and having someone to talk to.” Dominque reflected. “It’s nice to be able to brighten their day.”
This year, Dominque is determined to pass her exams so she can get into the RN program of her dreams. Luckily, most of her friends are also in nursing, so they understand the pressure and workload Dominque deals with. Her friends are her biggest cheerleaders, always encouraging her to focus on studying and making sure she stays on track to get into the program she wants.
In the limited free time she does have, Dominque likes to make sure her home is clean and tidy. In between working, studying, and sleeping, things can get a bit messy. As a homebody, Dominque’s favorite thing to do on her day off is to clean up her space to set herself up for success.
With over four years of experience, Dominque has collected some awesome tips for nurses.
Here are her top four:
"When you walk into a new facility, remember to control some of your natural mannerisms at first. Feel out the dynamic and engage in small conversations to introduce yourself and learn about the other nurses’ backgrounds. That will open the door for more conversations."
"If you make a mistake, own up to it. It can be scary to admit you messed up, but it’s important to recognize your mistakes so that you can learn from them."
"Don’t be afraid to get back in the classroom. Even if you feel like it’s too late for you, there is always more to learn so don’t be afraid of going back to school."
"During a night shift, scroll through The Beat during your break. A lot of the time there are other nurses on The Beat who are also working overnight!"