President’s Message Sue Kunz, BS, RN, CPSN

What Is Your Story?


hat is your story or stories … I asked this of you in October during our 39th Annual Convention to share with our members at our 40th Annual Convention. Well, this is my story. Fortyone years ago I was told by a dean of a school of nursing that I would never make it as a nurse and I should look for something else to do; 38 years ago I graduated with a diploma in nursing! Prior to finding my niche in Plastic Surgical Nursing, I worked in a variety of areas: med-surg, operating room (OR) on an orthopedic team, a yearlong stint as a traveling nurse, and then back to the OR, and the orthopedic team. Two years later I was fortunate to become the manager of the plastic surgery team in the OR and I knew, or was pretty sure that I had finally found “my home.” Six years later I had an offer that I couldn’t refuse; I left the university and assisted the surgeon that I have now worked with for the past 30 years to set up a plastic surgery practice in a community hospital. What an experience, setting up the OR for plastic surgery procedures, teaching staff in the OR, ER, PACU, and the med-surg. Unit as well as setting up a clinic and teaching staff to work in the clinic setting. This is where my “ASPSN Family” really made an impact. Ginny Finnie, Dotty Henderson, and Alice Davis, to name a few, were instrumental in my “growth and development” in the world of Plastic Surgical Nursing. I can only hope that I have been half the mentor to others as they were for me. My years as a nurse have been rich and rewarding, demanding and depressing, stressful and exciting, and the passion for my profession still burns. Eight years later, hard to believe but it was

Sue Kunz, BS, RN, CPSN, is currently employed at the Clinic of Cosmetic Surgery in Milwaukee, WI. She is the 2012–2014 President of the American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses. The author has no perceived conflict of interest or did not receive any funding to write this article. Address correspondence to Sue Kunz, BS, RN, CPSN, 5134 N. Elkhart Avenue, Whitefish Bay, WI 53217 (e-mail: [email protected]). DOI: 10.1097/PSN.0000000000000044

Plastic Surgical Nursing

time to pack up again and move to another location and another specialty of the practice, I have now been in a private practice for 16 years. So, I feel very fortunate to have worked in almost all aspects of the plastic surgical nursing arena. So, what are some of the stories that I hold dear to my heart? My first medical mission trip to Ecuador; the oldest patient I took care of was a 70+-year-old grandmother to repair a primary cleft lip, yes, you read that correctly a primary lip repair. Her family didn’t want her to die with a cleft; they believed that she wouldn’t be welcomed into heaven with that imperfection. Then there was the family that came in with darling twin girls about 2 years old, both with cleft lips, dad also had a cleft lip, so we operated on all three; the following week, the family returned to show off their beautiful daughters. Those girls were dressed in their “Sunday best.” The family and our team all had tears of joy and smiles in abundance to see that families joy. I am so humbled and grateful that I have been able to participate in a number of medical mission trips over the years. Participating on a mission trip is an incredibly rewarding experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone. It is hard work under stressful circumstances…but the joy in being able to help is remarkable. Participating on a “Casting for Recovery” weekend, I was responsible for inviting the women, breast reconstruction patients from our practice. Twenty-six women made the 4-hr drive to northern Wisconsin to take in the joys of the Northwoods, learn fly fishing techniques, and have the opportunity to bond with other women going through breast cancer and realize that life can and does go on. A very poignant memory was when during our Saturday evening gathering one of the support staff explained to the group that she had just returned from a recent meeting where she learned about a type of therapeutic hug; you hug someone until your breathing matches their breathing. She encouraged everyone to hug at least one person and tell that person just one thing that they felt was important to share; I not only received one hug, I received hugs from all 26 of my


Copyright © 2014 American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.

PSN-D-14-00017_LR 49

5/24/14 8:11 AM

President’s Message patients, and each one of them whispered similar sentiments, “you don’t know how much you have done for me” or “I can never thank you enough for taking care of me” or “I could never have done this without you.” I was overwhelmed, I never knew, I was doing my job, and I just never thought about the impact that I had on others. To me that is the passion, that is the essence of nursing.


So, I ask of you, please share a snippet of a story with us, send a paragraph or two of a story regarding some important moment in your career as a nurse. Is there a particular moment, a particular patient who truly moved you, and you realized that this is the passion and the essence of nursing? Send your story to the National Office and our keynote speaker will incorporate our stories into her talk during our 40th Annual Convention.

Volume 34 „ Number 2 „ April–June 2014

Copyright © 2014 American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.

PSN-D-14-00017_LR 50

5/24/14 8:11 AM

What is your story?

What is your story? - PDF Download Free
117KB Sizes 0 Downloads 5 Views