History: The desire of my heart is and always was to obtain employment, as a nurse, hopefully in a charge position, with the V.A.
My father was a 100% disabled Viet Nam veteran, as I stated, paraplegic from 1965. I had been either visiting or accompanying my father, in and out of V.A. hospitals from my age of 11 years to approx. 35 years old.
Yes, he had pressure sores and a whole host of challenges. Psychological, physical, social etc. I will never forget one visit and one nurse in particular.
The nurses weren't turning the vets every 4 or every 8 or every 12 hours. They were lucky to be turned at all unless an aide, who was always over worked, turned them. The nurse knew my father had pressure sores (decubitis ulcers) and he had nearly died at one time from sepsis secondary to an ulcer.
My father was a Gunny, (USMC Gunnery Sergeant), true to form, he put others above himself, and felt it was his mission to make sure the other vets on his ward, were not neglected.
After an altercation with the charge nurse, he pulled himself up in his bed by his trapeze bar and voiced to the nurse "We are men, we are humans, we are not animals."
That day, I told my daddy, that one day, I was going to run the V.A. and make sure none of the soldiers were ever treated less than human again.
I wanted to make sure my daddy was treated with dignity. I wanted to become a nurse. I knew knowledge was the key.
In 1988 I graduated from college as a practical nurse. My daddy went out to California for vacation with my little brother to stay for a few months. I had a nagging fear in the pit of my stomach, I'd never see him again. Long story short, July 1989, the V.A. misdiagnosed his illness.
As relayed to me by my brother and V.A. nurses later....He went to the V.A. ER and was told there was no room in the spinal chord injury ward. He was so weak he was sliding out of his wheel chair. The nurses begged the Doctor to admit him. They would not. They tied him to his wheel chair, and sent him home.
Home nurses came to visit him for a few days. They urged the V.A. to admit him. A few days later he went into septic shock, was taken to the civilian hospital and he died of septic shock from a perforated esophagus. 6 litres of purulent fluid was found in his abdominal cavity.
One year later, May 29, 1990, I received my license in the mail from the TBON. It just so happened to be, my daddy's birthday.
For the next 20 years, I was floundering like a fish out of water. It seemed I had lost my purpose. My dream, was, a dream. I've done every kind of nursing, just about that is out there. Dialysis, Occupational Nurse, Medical Administrator, Med Surg, LTC, Clinical review, Travel etc. I've trained LPN's, RN's and CNA's.
I have come full circle. Kids are raised, loved ones have passed on. Having experienced the plight of veterans from a young age, and observing the treatment (or lack thereof) of our veterans, (for approx 20 years) still weighs on my heart.
I realize the V.A. has come a long way and have made incredible strides in the care and treatment of our veterans. I also realize that I will most likely never run the V.A. LOL! However, we are never to old to learn, we are never too old to care or help and we are never too old to pursue our dreams. Online learning is something I am used to doing. I have for years disciplined myself to increase my skills and knowledge, online.
I know it won't be a challenge in that department for me.
It's the time and convenience that is my main criteria.
Time and convenience is what attracted me to WGU.
The tuition is a bonus. I just don't have a lot of time to waste. It's inconvenient.
p.s. "I am, My Father's Voice"
google it. It's my tribute to my father and all who have fought and served, USA