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Farida L.

AWESOME OCCUPATION

Registered Nurse

FAVORITE SCRUBS

Catarina™/Kade™

FAVORITE COLOR

Chalk Pink

Q: What do you wish people outside of healthcare knew or understood about nurses?

Q: What do you wish people outside of healthcare knew or understood about nurses?

A: I think that a lot of people think about nurses in a very one-dimensional way. They think that nurses are assistants to doctors, which in a lot of ways we are. But we are a team. We can’t do our work without the doctors, and doctors can’t do their work without us.

FARIDA L., BSN, RN
Q: What made you decide to be a nurse?

Q: What made you decide to be a nurse?

A: I grew up in Ghana where I saw a lot of health-related problems and diseases, so I knew this was my path from an early age. My mom had been in the nursing field for a long time. When I listened to her stories and heard about the big difference she made in the hospital, I wanted to be just like her. Once I started nursing in America, I knew it was for me. I always said if I could be half as great as my mom is, I've made it.

Q: Can you tell us about a moment or story that reminds you why you love being a nurse?

Q: Can you tell us about a moment or story that reminds you why you love being a nurse?

A: I had a patient who had a rare disorder that caused her to pass out just from doing day-to-day activities. The day she was discharged was a great moment I'll never forget. We had a video of all of us dancing together, which was huge because when she came in, she couldn't have stayed up without passing out. We got some healing touch for sure, as nurses.

Q: What is your name and where do you work?

A: My name is Farida and I work in post-cardiac surgery at Cedars Sinai in Beverly Hills.

Q: What made you decide to be a nurse?

A: I became a nurse because I've always had a connection with healthcare. I grew up in Ghana where I saw a lot of health-related problems and diseases, so I knew this was my path from an early age. I just didn't quite know how to get there or what exactly to do within healthcare.

My mom had been in the nursing field for a long time. When I listened to her stories and heard about the big difference she made in the hospital, I wanted to be just like her. Once I started nursing in America, I knew it was for me. I always said if I could be half as great as my mom is, I've made it.

Q: What does a typical day look like for you?

A: I normally get to work any time between 6:30-6:45AM, and I normally leave work after 7:30, 7:45, sometimes 8PM. I start with three patients, maybe two if they’re very critically ill. Most of my patients have undergone some sort of cardiac surgery — either heart transplants or valve replacements — or they have a heart assistive device. I care for patients who have had lung surgeries as well, with lung transplants being the most common.

Most recovering patients are very unstable and we have a lot of heart arrhythmias that happen, so you need to be on your toes to be able to recognize when there's an emergency happening and intervene. I feel very blessed to have a good team at work, so any time there’s an emergency — which is inevitable in that department — we have so many hands on board that help keep patients safe. Sometimes patients don't make it, but we always try our hardest to make sure that whatever it is, we put our best foot forward. Without a team, I don't think I could do what I do.

Q: What do you wish people outside of healthcare knew or understood about nurses?

A: I think that a lot of people think about nurses in a very one-dimensional way. They think that nurses are assistants to doctors, which in a lot of ways we are. But we are a team. We can’t do our work without the doctors, and doctors can’t do their work without us.

Ultimately, there are so many more roles within the hospital besides the doctors and the nurses. There's the physical therapist, occupational therapist, the case managers, the social workers, the nursing techs... We all come together to provide care for one patient. I feel like most times when people think about healthcare, they think in that one-dimensional nurse or doctor way, so I want people to expand that view. It's really a huge team effort to make that one patient's care phenomenal.

Q: What is your superpower?

A: My superpower is my discernment. I just know when I know, I know. When I'm in the hospital, if I feel that something's going wrong, I believe it and I intervene. Sometimes I tell my friends, I'm That's So Raven because I can really see what's about to happen.

Q: Can you tell us about a moment or story that reminds you why you love being a nurse?

A: I had a patient who had a rare disorder that caused her to pass out just from doing day-to-day activities. It was hard for her to be in the hospital because she can't really go to the bathroom or put on her pants without passing out.

Taking care of her for so many months really made me realize how grateful we should be for the strength to simply take a shower, get dressed and go to work. That in itself is such a huge blessing.

We were able to work with her on such a personal level and she became like family. Although she was not the typical patient that I cared for in my day-to-day as a cardiac surgery nurse, being able to go in her room and talk to her about her day and make sure she's OK was amazing. Spending time with her really made me feel like I'm doing this job because I really love it, not because I need to or that anyone else led me to this path.

I know we made such a huge difference in her life. It took a lot of months, a lot of tears, and a lot of dedication, but everybody that went in her room showed nothing but compassion, empathy, and great care for her. By the time she left the hospital, she could walk a whole lap around our floor without passing out.

The day she was discharged was a great moment I'll never forget. We had a video of all of us dancing together, which was huge because when she came in, she couldn't have stayed up without passing out. We got some healing touch for sure, as nurses.

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