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Unsung Heroes, Nursing Edition: Cheryl Culin

Unsung Heroes, Nursing Edition: Cheryl Culin
May 9, 2016 No comments

From the time I was young I had a desire to care for others. As I look back on life, I see how God wired me to be compassionate and empathetic towards the needs and hurts of others. In high school, I thought about pursuing medicine, nursing, counseling, and/or teaching-all fields where your impact on the lives of people can be so meaningful, personal, and even life-changing. After finishing my general ed in college, I still wasn’t completely sure. I moved overseas with my best friend, to the Republic of Georgia for 5 months to teach English, remind myself that I didn’t have to rush into anything, and to open my heart to God and ask, “What is it Lord, that you have for me? I want what you want for me.”

After returning to the United States, my Granny had a massive stroke. I watched this beautiful woman, full of life and joy, lie paralyzed in bed. She spent 6 weeks in stroke rehab, working so hard day after day. I only took one class that semester in college and spent the rest of my time with her in the hospital, in rehab, and eventually at an assisted living center. I remember the day I heard her cry out in frustration, after weeks of rehab. I saw tears roll down her cheeks. It was such an anguished cry. Never in my life had I seen her cry about anything, and my heart grieved with her that day as I thought about how painfully difficult it would be to go from being an active 70 something year old, volunteering at Hearst’s Castle and The Cal Poly Performing Arts Center, and hanging out with dear friends, and just enjoying life, to this; to half of your body barely being able to move, not being able to walk, shower, talk, or do anything as you used to. In one day, everything changed. And so her tears, were probably long overdue. And suddenly, I knew exactly what I needed to do: become a nurse.

I had a deep desire to care for people at their most vulnerable times, whether that be physically or emotionally. That pretty much defines nursing. I loved teaching. Nursing provided endless opportunities for teaching, whether teaching my patients about how to care for themselves, or teaching in a classroom setting. I realized that everything I loved doing – caring, teaching, comforting, processing life’s greatest difficulties and receiving life’s greatest joys, were all parts of nursing. What??? I can do all these wonderful, amazing, meaningful, life-impacting things, and call it a job?? Yes!!

I graduated from RCC with my ADN in 2007, and from Cal State Dominguez Hills online program with my BSN in 2011. Since graduating, I have worked at Loma Linda Medical Center in adult surgical oncology and general surgery. I’m so happy there! I love the variety of patients I get to work with. I still learn and see new things, even after almost 9 years! Each day as a nurse is a gift and an opportunity to have a positive impact on the life of another person. Some days the most meaningful thing I do is advocate for my patients need for pain relief. Other days it’s catching sepsis early on, and preventing a trip to the ICU. And other days, it’s holding someone in my arms who has been fighting hard and holding back tears for so long, and darn it – they just need to ball their eyes out for a sec. I feel privileged to get to come along side patients in these moments. So I keep doing what I’m doing, and I’ll keep coming back for more. Because these moments matter. Because people matter.

– Cheryl Culin

Unsung, is a feature MDF proudly brings to the MDF community highlighting the incredible MDF’ers who are truly #CraftingWellness. We hope to inspire, encourage, and connect humanity by sharing the stories from the thousands of anonymous individuals whose imprint can be seen in the lives of countless others

Posted in: blog