In my very early teens, I was entrusted to perform wound packing and dressing changes for my father who had a large hole in his side (in my eyes at that age it was just outrageous). I did what I needed to do to help my ‘daddy’ live. My dad, the first kidney transplant patient at the VA Hospital (1968) in Durham, N.C., knew my talent and capabilities, stressed that I become a nurse, and I followed his wishes. Yes, I was a daddy’s girl. He knew that this talent of service would challenge and fulfill me and he was right.
Dad introduced me to his transplant coordinator, Ms. Ross, who expressed praise that at my age I was able to assist in my father’s care and wound healing. By sixteen I would drive my father from rural Virginia to the VA hospital for dialysis during summer months. As I witnessed my father’s suffering through twenty-something operations (major and minor), my compassion for the field grew; I knew I could make a difference. I’ve found contentment in this field for over thirty years.
I love being a nurse because it allows me to look beyond myself and be in tune interacting with the spirit of others and with God. The satisfaction to be able to give and experience the comfort in knowing that you have tried your best to bring forth goodness and doing so in a non-monetary way is fulfilling.
Nursing is a family affair. I love our Falls Church/Tysons family. We all have days when we are dragging in spirit just to keep up sometimes; with teamwork it makes our efforts rewarding.
Don’t get me wrong, we have plenty joyful days as well. Our group at Falls Church has experienced many transitions, and hard days; but you know what, we push each other to focus on supporting each other, doing it right, giving our best effort and smile during those tough times. Our group, a mix of cultures, skills, and education is a blended and proud family.
Lois Dunbar RN
Falls Church/Tyson Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States