Julie Edwards @jredwards
Activity by Julie Edwards @jredwards
It's official ... my maternity leave has come to an end! I recently returned to work after 12 wonderful wintery weeks of baby bonding time. Yes, part of me was saddened that my wee one now had to learn to share me, for I would no longer be available anytime on demand. On the other hand, I have returned to work with a rejuvenated sense of satisfaction and pride. I have come to realize, from the perspective of a new mommy, how grateful I am to work for Mayo Clinic as an institution.
I quickly got back into the groove of my professional life, and during my initial days back at work got reacquainted with changes that occurred while I was away. One might not think a lot could be different in three months but let me tell you, one might be wrong! Just the mere fact that there were different alcohol wipes stocked on my unit threw me for a loop, not to mention my computer login screen looked just a little bit different. That being said, my transition from sleepless nights with my baby to, well, sleepless nights working night shifts could not have gone smoother. My work "family" was so supportive in reorienting me to new policies, and it was nice to share pictures and stories of my little ones as well as catch up with my colleagues. I love the people I work with, so my re-entry into the working world was that much more enjoyable. I am very fortunate to have an employer that supports me and the well-being of my child by providing lactation rooms and supplies. How nice is that? Also, the opportunities for work hours and shifts that best facilitate the ideal work-life balance for my family is priceless! We all know there is more to life than work, but loving what I do is a big piece of my overall happiness. I am counting the many blessings in my work, because refreshed gratitude allows me to be the best nurse I can be -- which, of course, is one of the many roles in my life!
Written by: Julie Edwards, RN - Neurology ICU Nurse
Previous Summer III
It was late winter in 2002, and my good friend Katie called me to tell me she had gotten the Summer III position. "Check your mail" she said, and I ran off to do just that. Happy news followed, for I had been accepted into the Summer III program as well! The next months we spent planning and dreaming about what it was going to be like to work at Mayo Clinic. Little did I know it would change my entire life, and I mean ENTIRE LIFE! My whole future was redirected based on this experience!
In early June, Katie and I packed our cars with 10 weeks' worth of necessities and drove to Rochester, Minnesota. This was before GPS days, and we had printed out MapQuest directions to guide our travels. When we arrived in Rochester, we discovered MapQuest was not as smart as it thought because, Evanston Heights, the summer housing facility that had been arranged for us, was indeed NOT the neighborhood of single family homes MapQuest directed us to. Wel,l you would surely think SOMEBODY in the city would have been able to help us find the housing complex, but we drove around for two and a half hours until we found somebody who knew of our destination ... thank heavens for GPS and smartphones today!
The crazy journey to Rochester was not predictive of the summer that followed, as I can honestly say it was the best summer of my life! Katie and I lived with over 100 other nursing students that summer and had some of the best times! Being a Summer III at Mayo was a very surreal experience. As a nursing student, I became accustomed to feeling like an imposition during clinicals. However, I remember my first encounter with a physician as a Summer III, and had to pick up my jaw from the floor when the doctor turned to me and asked what I (the student) thought of the patient situation! That dynamic between physicians and nurses was something I never dreamed existed, and I know that it helped build my confidence as a nursing student that summer! To this day, I still value Mayo's teamwork and respect among colleagues.
Like I said, that summer changed my life! Not only was I offered a job at the end of the externship, but I made some lifelong friendships AND met my future husband that summer! What a fun and exciting whirlwind of a summer, and more than 10 years and two kids (almost three) later, I still look back at that experience and know that that summer was the beginning of my life!