It’s What We Do
There is a very unique type of human that walks this planet. Perhaps they walk other planets too. These people are folks that made their way to become a nurse and then if that wasn’t enough, they traveled a path to find their true selves. Oh they are parents, non-parents, spouses, and people with hobbies and interests too. However, their personal finding inside the fabric of their being was released when they set on that path to become a wound ostomy & continence (WOC) nurse. It was their journey and existence as a WOC nurse that made them the most unique human of all. We have all heard, “how do you do this type of work” and “you are my angel” it is this and the desire to see every person who needs our special expertise get what they need, that gives us the uniqueness no one else quite knows, except each other.
My journey continues with all of you unique people starts here, as your new President of the Pacific Coast Region of WOCN. I would like to take this opportunity to say welcome to PCR. Welcome to new WOC’s, experienced WOC’s and those desiring to become a WOC nurse. We are sparking a new journey, one that begins with each other, right now. If you were at our conference in San Diego perhaps you heard a little of the excitement of the first spark. It was one of inspiration of each other and the call to celebrate the PCR WOCN. During our General Membership meeting you had the opportunity to learn that I am a WOC nurse who has been in clinical practice for 24 years (just getting started compared to my mentors). Who by the way need to write their wisdom down for all of us – yes, get busy and write your knowledge! I am in awe of you. Well, my story begins with serving PCR as the Secretary for the past two years and now as President. Why? Why would someone sign up for this? How does anyone have TIME? Well, the answer is in the uniqueness and support we have for one another and our deep seated goal of “being there”, to mentor, to teach, to serve and to do the work someone else did, so that others coming along have the same or better resources to tap as I did when others served while I was becoming a unique person. I am not special, I am unique, just like you. We are WOC nurses.
What are my goals? I have two; to spread the message of the purpose and function of the Pacific Coast Region and to provide outreach so deep and wide that we increase membership, celebrate experienced members to inspire their mentorship, precepting and continued service. This goal includes providing outreach to increase attendance at our stellar regional conference and to begin a new chapter in reaching out to improve the knowledge and competency of the staff RN in the basic skills they need to assist us in caring for WOC patients. What is my message to you? My message is to let you know that we can do this! We can have a life and make this happen. We can take care of our families, work, support our employer, our kids or spouse, be involved in volunteer service- to make this difference. A difference in how we mentor, how we support one another, how we grow new WOC’s and how we provide for our patients to have the support we need. I am not sure who started the rumor that being on the Board or doing a task or project for PCR is hard or impossible with everything on our plate. Our jobs are hard, not having enough staffing or hours in the work day is hard, not getting enough sleep is hard, but service to make things better? Not hard. It isn’t. I live in the same reality as you. How does a secretary, who is right handed, serve as secretary of the region right after having major elbow repair surgery on her right elbow? We just do it. How does the communications officer organize our website, register all the conference attendees and get us our CE certificates while being pregnant, having a new baby, a full-time job, husband and toddler? We just do it. Squash the rumors! We also do it because it is doe-able. Being on the Board is doe-able.
So, my message is this: join me, join in and when you see an opportunity to join and serve, join and serve. My second goal for outreach is to help us see the “jobs, projects and needs” of PCR as the simple and doe-able opportunities to this service, to volunteer. We grow so much through every experience we have, I hope you grow your continued uniqueness with a little inspiration and re-assurance that we can do this! Its what we do.
Opportunities to Serve:
Below are some simple and time-limited items we would love to hear that you would like to help with. What type of help? Take a project and do it, volunteer to type something, volunteer to serve on a sub-committee that uses a conference call to perform outreach activities, volunteer to work registration at conference or do a shift at the PCR booth at Regional or National. Many hands make the work lighter…. Please let me hear from you!
Linda Reynolds – (530) 321-4529 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Membership – serve with the membership coordinator to: travel to networking and peer groups to talk about the work of PCR and what is “going on”, make phone calls, write emails or Facebook blurbs to connect us, organize the mentorship & preceptor connection list.
- Education – serve with the education coordinator to: provide input into subjects and sessions for conference, contact speakers or serve as a conference registration or booth volunteer. Assist with ideas and locations for education events for staff nurses about WOC skills they need.
- Communication – serve with the communications coordinator to: Update the website information, create Facebook items of interest and social media topics for the membership. Make a picture collage of PCR activities that can be shared with the membership. Write the ASK LIST – where members can place their “ask” onto our forums for other members to see and respond to.
- Secretary – serve with the secretary to: Update forms, templates, read policy and procedures. Be the one who takes the current PCR 2016-2020 strategic plan, reads it and proposes new items for 2021-2024.
- Be a mentor – be willing to have other members call you. Provide us your name and subjects or area of expertise. Goal: Answer 3 calls or text messages per month.
- Be a preceptor – Become a preceptor or if you are already one help set up a preceptor registry for new WOC nurses. Develop a 1 page document that explains how to work with you employer to allow WOC preceptees to precept in your organization or area.
- Join the Board – The President-Elect position is open. I would love to work side by side with you to learn the ropes of leadership of PCR. I promise the position is interesting, pretty cool, do-able and has some nice opportunities within it to grow.
All of these opportunities are do-able and many will have PGP points too!
Linda Reynolds RN, BSN, CWOCN, Pacific Coast Region WOCN President