Where Are They Now?
Where Are They Now?
Dana Isaacson (nee Seiden) always envisioned one day working in the medical profession. But the 1999 Pikesville High graduate thought that meant becoming a doctor. All that changed after she volunteered in a hospital during college.
That experience led her to become a nurse. Seiden, 31, went on to the University of Maryland School of Nursing and then spent two years working in shock trauma. The last four years Isaacson has been an emergency room nurse at the University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center. Today, she splits her time between Baltimore and Philadelphia, where she lives with her husband, Sam, as she works to become a nurse practitioner.
iNSIDER: Why did you become a nurse?
Dana: When you are a nurse, you are really hands-on with a patient’s care. You don’t always have that opportunity as a doctor. I love the scientific aspect of being a physician, but the nursing care model fits best for what I want to do.
What is the most challenging part of working in the emergency room?
So many people who come into the ER are uninsured and come in as a last resort, after putting off a problem for [too] long because they lack coverage. That just leads to an immense increase in patient volume. As emergency care providers, we know how important it is to care for someone in need of immediate care such as a patient with chest pains. But when you have 40 such cases at the same time and are understaffed, it can be difficult.
What is the key to developing positive relationships with patients?
In the ER, you are seeing people at their absolute worst. You know they are scared, and their families are scared. It’s important to think about how you would want to be treated if it was you or your mother or your son who was in there with us. It’s all worth it when you help them through that time and they are able to spend another holiday or birthday with their loved ones.
What do you hope to accomplish as a nurse practitioner?
When you are in a family practice as a nurse practitioner, you can really assist with quality preventative care. When they come to you in the ER, they are already in need of immediate help. As a nurse practitioner, I hope to be able to assist patients before they are at their worst and help them live healthier lives.