I think I always wanted to be a nurse. I was in Future Nurses in high school and worked as a nurses' aide. Growing up, I helped deliver puppies, operate on cats, and treat various horse illnesses. A church family's request to help bathe an elderly family member led to 17 years of care - they became like grandparents to me. For what I thought were several good reasons at the time, I did not pursue my dream to be a nurse when I was young. Then, years later, when I found myself responsible for supporting my children alone, I obtained my associate's degree in nursing. I started at West Penn Hospital on the Medical-Surgical Renal unit, learning good organizational skills caring for the chronically ill. I transferred to the Med-Surg ICU for 5 years but found my niche here in the Burn Trauma Center. The hands-on care and meeting patients' physical and emotional needs bring me my greatest joy. I enjoy the challenge of caring for critically ill patients as well as interacting and supporting the non-critically ill patients and helping both the patient and family to cope. Caring for people and seeing them get better - that's a job I love!