Posts (3)

May 29, 2014 · Counting the many blessings in my work … thoughts of a new mommy

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!

May 19, 2014 · The many roles I play as a Neurology ICU nurse!


Written By: Julie Edwards, RN
Neurology Intensive Care Unit

A day in the life of a neuro ICU nurse … Well look at that … it’s time to head to work! Kisses from my boys and hubby, and I am out the door, ready to perform in one of the many roles I play in life — a neuro ICU nurse! I love my job and especially the unit on which I work! Don’t get me wrong, like everybody I have the occasional day when I just don’t feel like going to work, but even on those days, when I walk through the door of Mayo Clinic and start my shift, I truly feel like it is my home away from home! The smiles and cheerful greetings from my co-workers, along with the blessing of an opportunity to make a difference in the life of a stranger (my patient), make me excited and grateful for my workday! No matter how crummy life can seem sometimes, I feel grateful every day I go to work, for I have my health, and no matter how difficult my job is sometimes, it could never compare to what patients are experiencing. Okay, time to get report, so the off-going nurse can head home! A 12-hour workday, after all, is a very full shift! During our handoff, I meet my patient and often family members, too. Working in the Neuro ICU means often we not only care for patients, but their family members as well, as they sit in emotional turmoil at the bedside of their loved one!  Our patient population is a mix of medical and surgical folks, and oftentimes their lives have been turned upside down by their diagnoses. I have cried with, prayed with, and grieved with patients and their families, and after 10 years, I sure have learned the magical comforting power of a warm blanket. Hallelujah to that invention! After establishing a rapport and ensuring my patients are comfortable, it is time to get myself organized and try to “plan” my day. I say this with a hint of sarcasm as anybody who works in the ICU knows it is virtually impossible to plan a shift! That being said, I familiarize myself with the patient’s history, diagnoses, and medication schedule. I look up lab reports and test results, read notes from services involved in the patient’s care, and analyze rhythm strips from the patient monitor. A patient assignment is based on acuity, so sometimes I care for one patient and sometimes two. Either way, care is based on prioritizing and coordination among services to provide the best outcome for the patient, and at the end of my 12-hour shift, that is my goal.  Did I maximize my work shift to assist in a better outcome for my patient or patients? I sure hope in some way, shape or form that the answer is “yes”!

Apr 10, 2014 · Summer III, my personal experience

Written by: Julie Edwards, RN – Neurology ICU Nurse

Previous Summer III

Welcome Summer III StudentsIt 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!

Summer III Move in Day Staff helping Students unpacking

Summer III Move in Day Staff Helpers

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!



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