What led you to become a nurse?
I had a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and English with plans to go to law school. Instead, I got married and started having kids. Like many, I took the first “big boy” job I could find and became an Industrial Hygienist for 8 years. My friends led me to nursing. I was involved in sales at the time, and doing well, but, I wasn’t very happy. Sales wasn’t very fulfilling for me. The occasional large payday helped, but I was an empty shell. My friend Mike thought it would be a great idea to join him in nursing, so I applied the The Christ Hospital School of Nursing in Cincinnati and my wife was all for it. I was accepted and they offered to pay for my tuition and books as long as I agreed to work in their Health System for three years. When I graduated, I took a position at The University Hospital as an RN in the Emergency Department.
Could you tell us one of your favorite stories from your years as an RN? I’m looking for one of those moments that reminded you why you got into nursing in the first place.
There are so many stories I could tell you about why I continue my career, but one of the days I realized my calling was when I came home after a shift and found my eldest son unresponsive and blue lying on my couch at 1 a.m. “The End” by the Doors was on the radio. He had attempted suicide. I began CPR on him immediately and called 911. I had him revived before the squad arrived. My son spent 3 days in the Intensive Care Unit having repeated seizures.
If you could say one thing to the world to make the job of being an RN easier or better, what would it be?
If I could say one thing to the world to make nursing easier, my response would be, “the Lord gave us two ears and one mouth. We humans should do twice as much listening as we do talking.” Also, if you stop for a good cup of coffee on the way to the hospital, please bring one for me.
What is something you get unreasonably excited about?
I get inordinately excited when the team figures out what it is that has a patient feeling so poorly. Also, when someone brings warm bagels to work for us.
What is the best concert you’ve ever been to? Worst?
Best concert I’ve ever been to: The Who, 1982
Worst concert I’ve been to: The Cure, 1986
If you could spend two years doing whatever you wanted, what would that something be?
I would like to spend two years traveling across country working as a nurse and fly fishing all the great rivers in the United States. When done, I’d like to write a book about my journey.
Tell us a story from when you were a kid. Can be silly, stupid, warm and fuzzy, whatever. Just make it a good one.
It was so long ago that I can hardly remember it, but here goes:
My grandfather loved to take me fishing in Florida. We’d get a bucket of fresh shrimp and find our favorite place on a causeway bridge. We would use long rods and heavy 1 oz. lead sinkers to get the line down in the tidal currents. We had caught a few nice fish, when suddenly I could not get my line unstuck from the rock. I called over my grandfather and he had a hard time too. As he stretched and stretched the monofilament line, it drew so tight that it would either break or release from the rocks, which is exactly what happened. Like a rocket, that one ounce pyramid sinker came rocketing out of the water and struck my grandad right in the forehead, rendering him unconscious and dropped him to the floor like a bag of cement. Next thing I noticed was all the blood. I was 8 years old and thought I had killed my grandfather. My father was nearby, so I grabbed him and told him to come and what I had just witnessed. 10 minutes later, the ambulance arrived and my Grandfather had woken up and wanted to make sure I was okay. He was my first hero and still tops the list.
We are so grateful to have Paul as a part of the Prolink family!