YON 2020 Day 179: Patricia Lord, RN, BSN, CDCES

As Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist for Lake Health, Patricia Lord, RN, BSN, CDCES, is a valuable resource for patients striving to understand and manage their diabetes. She explains how her nursing journey led her to this rewarding role.

My nursing journey started when I was 30 years old and a divorced mother of two daughters, a 3-year-old and a 6-month-old, with no idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up. I decided to take a career aptitude and assessment test hoping to learn what career path would be most compatible with my interests, skills, values, and personality. I was delighted when the results indicated that the field of nursing was a good fit, and it made sense to me! I started school and after a lot of hard work, became an RN, and have never looked back.

What I find most rewarding about being a nurse are the numerous paths available through the progression of a nursing career. For example, I began my career as a medical-surgical nurse, and then moved on to step-down before falling in love with the field of diabetes.

Diabetes is a complicated, chronic disease that can be overwhelming for patients. As a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist, my passion is to connect with my patients on a deep and meaningful level, and explain things in simple terms that provide a foundation for action by the patient.

I approach my patients as I would like my own family treated. My goal is to lift them up and empower them to take steps forward to better health, and never to shame or make them feel guilty about their uncontrolled diabetes.

I love seeing the faces my patients face light up with "I get it" when they understand what I'm teaching them. My patients are constantly calling me to share the good news of their lower HbA1Cs and other achievements toward good health; it truly is the most rewarding thing about being a nurse - making a difference in the lives of others.

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