Did you know racial/ethnic minorities constitute almost 40% of the US population but only 24% of nurses? (10% Black/AA, 7.5% Asian, 6% Latinx)? I made a post like this a year ago and unfortunately not much has changed. One of my goals is still to inspire more minorities to choose nursing to have a workforce more representative of the US. Every few weeks I will be highlighting someone who has an inspiring story to share.
Today it is Jacqueline (IG @jacquelineexplores).
“My name is Jacqueline, I am a 24 year old registered nurse in Southern California. My parents were born and raised in Mexico, as a middle child I learned spanish and english at the same time and am fluent in both. When I was younger I always wanted to be a teacher, however as I grew older I found myself being very interested in the human body. Junior year of high school I had appendicitis, the pain was intermittent for over 5 months and I got all kinds of theories from different providers I seeked help from. Ultimately I got an appendectomy and this was the first time I was a patient at a hospital, got a procedure done, and stayed overnight. I was really tired but I couldn’t be happier! I was picking my nurses brains, one of them was a student nurse. After talking with them I realized nursing is what I wanted to do. A career with so many opportunities, I would get to help people, education would also play a key role, and more!
My first nursing job was a float pool nurse at a community hospital. Now I work as a hospice case manager, the company I work for was founded by spanish speaking nurses! Even with that, there are 7 other case managers and I am the only RN Case Manager that speaks spanish.
What keeps fueling my nursing career now is seeing the difference I am able to make in people’s lives, I used to think living in southern california there would be more spanish speaking healthcare workers… That changed when I found myself being the only person in the room that could help translate. NOW I see the importance of being able to accurately describe what you feel, where it hurts, what happened, and the other essential questions asked to help triage the problems with your health. I am sure many of us relate to helping translate for our parents or other loved ones because there is no one there to help and advocate for them in the clinical setting. As a nurse I get to be the one advocating for our hispanic community.
My advice for anyone thinking of going into healthcare, GO for it! It will be hard, family and friends will have their opinions, you will need to spend some time away from parties or have to leave early to go study, plans will be canceled. On the other hand, relationships will be strengthened, you will be a great model for your peers, the amount of knowledge you gain is inspiring. I can’t imagine the sense of relief a patient has when they see someone that looks like them or speaks their language come into the room to take care of them, but I DO SEE THEIR FACES and it makes it all worthwhile.”