Choi Chung, RPh, BSc Pharm
One of our values that we believe in is helping patients make informed decisions through health promotion and education. One of our aims with this interview series is to bring awareness to the different healthcare professionals and health advocates around the world and how they’re actively involved in bettering the lives of others!
We had the opportunity to interview Camelia Sehat, an RN and health and wellness educator from California! Check out the interview below as she talks more about her profession and how she’s actively involved in health advocacy!
- First off, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed Camelia. Tell us a bit about yourself!
Of course! Thank you for having me! My educational background is diverse; I have a BSc in Chemical Biology from UC Berkeley, an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), and a Master’s of Public Health (MPH) with an emphasis on community education. I have more than 7 years of nursing experience in women’s health, medical surgical, and surgery combined. I am currently working at a hospital and am a nursing instructor. For fun and relaxation, I love spending time outdoors. My favourite activities are: snowboarding, swimming, yoga, martial arts, and meditation.
- Can you tell us about the role of a registered nurse (RN)?
Nursing is a career built on caring. The role of an RN is to care for patients in a holistic manner. This means taking care of the patient’s mind, body, spirit, emotions, and environment. A good RN should focus on being caring and forming therapeutic relationships with patients and their families. We are trusted with people’s lives, which is a huge responsibility. RNs are an integral part of a support system that requires them to wear many hats—from working with new technology to educating patients on healthcare. Aside from the standard technical/medical duties, nurses must also have a strong blend of “soft skills”. Nurses working in any setting must possess excellent communication, emotional intelligence, teamwork, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. RNs can work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, home health, clinics, ambulatory care, etc. If they are working in hospitals, there are no “business hours”, which means these nurses may be expected to work long shifts, including overnight, or on weekends and holidays.
- Can you share with us what a day-to-day looks like for you as a registered nurse in your practice?
I like to get to work early to get familiar with my patients’ histories by reading the charts before I get report form the off-going nurse. I like to know the whole picture before I care for my patients. At shift change, I receive report, check-in with my patients, and read my patients’ charts with an emphasis on their medications. How often patients receive medications basically sets the tone for the day because they have to be given at particular times. Then, I do my patient assessments, which includes vitals and a medical evaluation. Next, I administer medications for all my patients (4-5 patients depending on the census), I perform wound care/dressing changes and coordinate with lab/pharmacy tech/operating room staff/physical therapy, etc. regarding what needs to be done and when. Any time during this process, I could be interrupted to handle emergencies, such as a patient coding or in arrest, an admission, or any number of things. However, no matter how busy I am, I always like to spend some extra time with my patients and their family to learn more about them on a personal level and make a human connection. The therapeutic relationship is very important. Once that is formed, you are trusted with everything for that patient, and you are able to help the patient better. If any of my patients crash or code, I will have to attend to that. Then, I document care in patient records (takes a few hours). Sometimes, there isn’t time for lunch, so protein bars are my best friends as meal supplements. Essentially, my day goes: administer medication, change dressings and document care in each patient’s records, and repeat!
- What was it that drew you into the field of nursing?
I wanted to do something in my career that is challenging, interesting, and makes a difference in people’s lives on a daily basis. In the nursing profession, you deal with many aspects of patient care, and I enjoy the variety in my routine. Most of all, I love being able to help people feel better both emotionally and physically.
- What is one of the top pieces of health advice you’d like to share with the public?
The importance of sleep hygiene and how it affects all other aspects of our life. Getting enough “quality” sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety. The way you feel while you’re awake depends, in part, on what happens while you’re sleeping. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. In children and teens, sleep also helps support growth and development. Ongoing sleep deficiency can raise your risk for some chronic health problems. It also can affect how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others.
- Where can our audience reach you if they have any further questions for you?
During the winter months, they can find me on the snow filled mountains (specifically Big Bear), but all other times on Instagram (nurse.camelia).