Why I Chose to Heal

From time to time, I am asked by other healthcare professionals, and my colleagues in the pro-life healthcare space, why I became a nurse. The answer is simple: to heal.

It wasn’t until my first daughter was born that I graduated nursing school. Before enrolling in nursing school, I studied biochemistry as an undergrad. Biology and chemistry were, and still are, fascinating to me. The way the human body functions in harmony and its ability to carry out vastly complex functions like breathing and cardiac activity in a reliable way with almost no notice of what is happening being registered by us is incredible.

Think of all the basic activities our bodies carry out every second of every day without us paying them a moment’s thought. I know that God is the designer of our bodies because such a complex instrument cannot be the result of an accident.

Continuing my studies at nursing school brought me closer to patients.

After learning about natural science, I wanted to apply my professional interests in a way that would help people. Study and research in the medical field play absolutely pivotal roles in improving the lives of patients. However, I wanted to be at the bedsides of people in need, guiding them through their healthcare struggles, and leading them back to health. I began my journey as a nurse specializing in psychiatric care. Mental health is vital to our overall health, and it often gets overlooked. Substance abuse, challenges coping with stress, and behavioral issues are among the areas where psychiatric patients need help. This discipline in medicine was very appealing to me. I took great joy in helping psychiatric patients help restore their mental health. However, as I progressed in my knowledge of medical science, I was drawn to a different challenge.

The more I learned about the human body, the more I was amazed by how resilient it is. We have either had major operations on ourselves, or known people who have had major operations, and are able to thrive afterward. Whether it is removing an appendix, getting a major organ transplant, or any of the many operations performed every day on people around the world, the ability of the human body to adapt and heal post-surgery is stunning. We take this for granted because it has become so routine. But the advances in surgical technology over the last several decades have been dramatic. For example, an operation that once required a major incision can now be performed by doctor-led robotics with relatively minor incisions. That development alone helps reduce patient pain, improves recovery times, and reduces complications.

Operating room nurses are central to the work done by surgeons. I worked hard to put myself in the operating room by studying this specialty and eventually joining surgical teams in operating rooms. I was able to help patients prepare for surgery, assist the surgical team during surgery, and be there for patients after their surgery. This work was incredibly rewarding. Not only did I learn and hone new clinical skills, but I was also able to accompany patients more holistically than I ever could have hoped for. Being there for them emotionally and technically helped me treat the whole person. I had an entirely new understanding of what it means to take care of a human being. Each patient had their own set of hopes and fears, unique needs, and level of physical pain with which to contend. Patients in the operating room are very brave people, persevering under difficult circumstances. It was an honor to bring them aid and comfort, as well as my professional expertise.

My dedication to the healthcare profession is deep. I completed my Masters of Science in Nursing degree while being a mom to 6 children (being a mom of 6 is a story for another blog post!). After a lifetime of work in healthcare, I can now give back at an even deeper level. I have the chance to help women get healthcare that affirms their dignity as women. Helping women choose life, and supporting them with first-class medical professionals is an honor. Offering prenatal and postnatal care in a loving environment is a blessing. Comforting women who have had an abortion and are now remorseful is a way to show love and compassion for those seeking hope. Obria’s practice is a healing practice. It heals body and soul and sustains mothers with love, hope, and support.

I have taken my lessons learned over a career in nursing to help Obria reach its full potential. Along the way, I have learned valuable lessons from the women who come to Obria for help, and from the Obria staff who help them.

Why did I come to Obria? For the same reason I became a nurse: to heal. Because of your support, all of us at Obria get to heal others every day.

Dawn Hughes

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From time to time, I am asked by other healthcare professionals, and my colleagues in the pro-life healthcare space, why I became a nurse. The answer is simple: to heal.

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