Walking Away From The Bedside


I have been with Registry Partners for a little less than a year. Prior to this I had been a pediatric nurse in the hospital setting for 10 years. I love kids! I love everything about pediatrics. I love how the walls are always covered in homemade art. I love how children will make you smile even during your worst shift. I love how children are so resilient and courageous. I love children so much that I decided to have two of my very own. Two beautiful, hilarious and sometimes smelly boys.

While I was enjoying myself, being surrounded by children, it became very apparent that one of my children would need much more of me. At two years old, my youngest child regressed and was diagnosed with autism. No worries, I was surrounded by some of the best minds in pediatrics in our region, but maybe not the best insurance. Unfortunately, it is a harsh reality, as a parent, that you may one day have to walk away from a job that you love because of resources like insurance. I found a job similar to the position I was holding, at a pediatric facility within an adult facility. At the new facility I had far less responsibilities, sounds great, right? The problem is that if you are never challenged there is no room for growth. That began to weigh on me. No learning or growth means that you stay right where you are, forever. I began to feel very unmotivated and stuck. Another problem began to present itself, along with lack of growth there was very little flexibility. I was constantly asking people to help me get my children where I needed them to be.  I began to feel like I wasn’t participating in my own life. I was there but I was only counting the days till the weekend or the next holiday. I felt like I was failing at everything; a job I would never advance in and only able to be a mother after office hours.

Fortunately, an opportunity became available for me with Registry Partners. I felt very unsure about leaving the bedside, after all isn’t that what nurses do? We take care of patients, and there will always be patients to care for. This position was completely outside of my comfort zone, but after feeling stagnant I was ready for a change. While interviewing I learned about the flexibility that came along with the position. I would be able to bring kids to doctor’s appointments, school and therapies while earning a living. I now have a job that I learn in. I am now able to see nursing from a different perspective. I don’t feel like being chained to the bedside is the only way to provide care. My eyes have been opened to all the different avenues that are available to nurses.

Knowing that I have a future makes me want to work harder, learn more and be more. I now feel like I’m not just constantly giving my all to a job with only a paycheck in return. This position truly feels like an investment in the future. I have learned a new skill, that I am constantly trying to hone, and I am given tasks outside of that skill-set that further my abilities and give me confidence. While with Registry Partners I have also witnessed the true value of a leader, not just a boss, but a leader. Every management level employee I have encountered has been excellent at communication. They are encouraging, respectful and knowledgeable. I am not made to feel embarrassed for asking questions or offering a different point of view. I work for a great company. I am constantly learning, I can manage my time as needed and do both things in a supportive environment. For the first time in quite some time I feel like I have a say in the future, all it took was the realization that it is safe to wake away from the bedside.

Article Written by Samantha Shewmake, RN- Pediatric Registry Abstractor for the Registry Partners Quality Services Division.

Photo: Shewmake Family