Rachel Mathers


  
Rachel Mathers

Rachel Mathers, BSN

Univeristy of Texas Medical Branch School of Nursing
Galveston, TX
United States
Nursing is not just a job for Rachel, it is a part of who she is as a person.

One of Rachel’s biggest dreams was to become a NICU nurse and work with small children. A dream that has become a reality as she applied for and was hired to work in our NICU. However, along the way, nursing school presented her with challenges of tortuous childhood memories when she was a patient, memories of ill grandparents, and deaths of those whose lives were taken too soon. Before the beginning of her Pediatric rotation, Rachel disclosed her huge fear of needles and was very apprehensive about causing pain or injury to a small child. It was so brave of her to be so forthcoming with her concerns yet continue to seek out opportunities to overcome them. Together we developed a strategy to address difficult situations as they came up and Rachel did not let anything deter her from rising above her fears.
During the third or fourth week of clinicals, Rachel had an infant patient who needed a vaccine before being discharged. Part of her fear about needles had to do with restraining a child to give an injection and potentially causing long term psychological damage. The nurse Rachel was shadowing that day told her they would give the patient the vaccine in their room. Throughout the previous weeks, Rachel learned ways to minimize trauma during injections and techniques that would help provide comfort and or support to the patient and family. She remembered that painful procedures, such as giving a vaccine, should be done away from the patient’s room in a treatment room. This way the patient’s room could remain a happy, pain-free place. Rachel reasoned with her nurse to take the patient to the treatment room as it was the right decision for the patient and their family. She successfully convinced her nurse to do the procedure in the treatment room even though the senior nurse argued it was not as convenient as doing it in the patient’s room. It is difficult for a student nurse to speak up and do the right thing when their preceptor (a seasoned nurse) is telling them to do something different. Rachel had the courage to do the right thing in a difficult situation and should be applauded. It is because of students like Rachel that we (instructors) continue to teach. Rachel truly has the heart, compassion, integrity, and respect for this profession. Nursing is not just a job for her, it is a part of who she is as a person. Someone who will always provide care and compassion to those in need. Rachel understands her role as a nurse and will continue to cultivate her knowledge, experience and skills as she transforms into a NICU nurse. 
During school, Rachel also served as the UTMB Student Nurses Association president. Her continued dedication to the students and the organization allowed Rachel to develop leadership skills, communication skills, and organizational skills that not only defines a UTMB School of Nursing graduate but also defines a quality nursing professional. Rachel is driven to provide the best quality of care for patients, especially our smallest ones.