Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A glimpse into the life of. . .

           BEKAH CANNON
It's been a while, but I'm back with another glimpse, and you're gonna love her!

I met Bekah at church a couple of years ago and was blown away by the warmth and kindness she radiates.
No matter how busy or stressed she is, every time I see her she always makes it all about me
what's new with me, what's troubling me, how she can help me, etc. She's like this with everyone, and she actually means it. You don't often come across people this genuine. 

In addition to the countless hours Bekah devotes to church and service activities, she is a happily married mother of two beautiful children who also works part time as a pediatric RN. It takes a special kind of person to work in the nursing field, and I'm excited to peek inside the mind of one and share her insight with you!

Current job: I am a pediatric registered nurse at a children’s hospital, where I work with infants and children who need heart transplants or heart surgery, and children who have other general surgical needs.

First job ever: I was a nanny for years, which helped me prepare for working with kids in the hospital.

First job after graduating/first "grown up" job: I worked on a pediatric medical/surgical unit that helps kids with diabetes, cystic fibrosis and asthma before I moved to the pediatric intensive care unit. I loved the PICU since I learned so much about how to take care of really sick kids and became a much better nurse. 


After I had kids of my own, it was hard for me to see a lot of the trauma patients we cared for since it made me so worried about my own kids, so I transferred to my current unit to work with cardiac kids.

Dream job: Williams-Sonoma. I think sometimes it would be so nice to have a job where I can worry about pots and pans and not really sick kids.

What is the best part about your job? I love how empowering my job is—I am able to influence many people, families and children to make their stay in the hospital easier and less stressful and help them access great medical care. I love to learn from families who are so graceful under extremely stressful circumstances, and they make me want to be more mindful, and seek God’s help in how I handle my challenges.

What is the most challenging part? The juggling of so many tasks! We have so much coordinating, planning and accessing of different heath care teams that goes on behind the scenes, and it is hard to convey to families why things take longer than they expect them to.There are so many medications, pain interventions, therapies, hygiene cares, exercises, discharge planning, and charting that go into each patient’s care. It is challenging work, but I work with great coworkers, which makes my job run much smoother and our patients get better care.

What advice do you have for someone pursuing a similar career? Study. Hard.

What drew you to nursing, and more specifically, what drew you to pediatrics? My dad is a doctor and my twin sister and I went into nursing together. I loved that my dad had a career where he got to help other people, have to be really smart and push himself to work through complex medical problems, and had a lot of satisfaction out of the work he does. I also wanted to have a career where I could be really flexible so I could be home with my children as much as possible, especially when they are young and in school.

I feel really blessed to be able to have my family be my priority at home, and then be able to help other families a couple times a week at work. It is a perfect balance of being home and keeping up the nursing skills I invested so much time in learning.

Nursing has been great for having a family since you can adjust your schedule to what works best for your circumstances. I have worked full time, moved to part time, then once a week, then back to full time for a few months when my family needed the extra support, and then back to once a week.

Most of my friends who have children have to make a choice about being at home or working full time. No other job offers the flexibility that nursing does, and it makes me so happy I have a career where I don’t have choose between my work and my family. You can have the best of both worlds!

Based on the most common concerns you hear from the parents of your patients, what is the best advice you have for parents with young children in the hospital? If your child were ever admitted to the hospital, my advice would be to ask a lot of questions and make sure that you know what your care providers are talking about.

There is a lot of medical jargon that gets tossed around, so ask for clarification if it doesn’t make sense. Many times families are overwhelmed with being in the hospital, and it is harder to process information under lots of stress. Write down questions you have throughout the day and pull them out when the medical team comes to see you every day. You will have a better experience, be able to help your child recover more quickly, and be a better advocate for your child if you know the plan and participate in it.

Three words to describe where you're at in life right now: Curious, peaceful, high-hopes.

How do you define success? Having a happy, fun and God-centered family, even if the only person in your family is you.

Who has been your biggest influence, personally or professionally, and why? My twin sister has been a part of my everyday life and has pushed me to be better, to study and work harder, and to be a better mother every day.

It is nice to have someone to benchmark your life with since they can help drive you to excel, and you can see where you could/need to be on different aspects of life. It is inspiring to see what she does and know that (having the same genes!) I can accomplish similar things.

What hobbies do you enjoy in your spare time? Running, yoga, reading, sleeping or making some kind of craft.

What is number one on your bucket list? I want to go to Glacier National Park. I see pictures of that place and can’t wait to just see it in real life. 


Favorite ice cream flavor: Izzy's Midnight Snack: graham cracker ice cream with chocolate chunks and peanut butter swirl. Amaze.

Thank you, Bekah!

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