Profiles & Personalities

Health is Wealth: Nurse Chelsea Rolfes

Sarah Gray, RN
March 2, 2018
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Our newest team member, Chelsea, is a huge proponent of health – the proof is in the (chia) pudding on her healthy insta @healthy_withchelsea. Her feed boasts not only mouth-watering goodness, but also of positive affirmations, views from the top of hikes, and swoon-worthy locales captioned with feel-good quotes and vibes. We connected with her over a shared passion for health and wellness, but that was just the beginning.

I feel passionate that there are ways to innovate the nursing model bringing more positivity into the nursing environment which ultimately leads to better nurses, better care and happier patients.

As an experienced travel nurse, Chelsea was psyched about what we’re doing here at Trusted Health to change the way nurses work. Passion, coupled with timing and opportunity and an obvious alignment, added another nurse to the Trusted team and moved Chelsea back to San Francisco and away from the bedside. We caught up with Chelsea about how she integrates her passion for health and wellness into her nursing lifestyle.

What was your first experience with nursing? What influence did this have on your decision to become a nurse?

There really wasn’t a deciding moment for me because for as long as I remember I have wanted to be a nurse. Growing up I tried to submerge myself in the healthcare realm any way that I could and I was never deterred from the profession. Unfortunately, that may have included frequent visits to the school nurse.

Thankfully I grew out of that “stage,” as my parents call it. Whatever, the nurses office was way more exciting then learning to recite all of the Presidents in U.S. History (please don’t ask me to do that). I did volunteer at hospitals during high school and that definitely solidified my confidence in ultimately choosing nursing as my career.  

Would you recommend nursing as a profession? What did you wish you knew about it beforehand?

It takes a certain personality to be a nurse, no doubt. No one can really warn you what it feels like to be a new grad frantically running around trying to learn on the job while keeping your patient load alive and well. Being a nurse allows you to gain personal confidence and constantly presents challenges to help you learn and improve. It allows you to grow immensely as an individual and opens an infinite amount of doors for potential careers beyond working at the bedside.

Sick people aren’t going anywhere, there is always going to be a need for nurses. Is it challenging? Yes. Are there days I wonder how I can make it through one more crazy 12 hour shift? Yes. Would I change a thing? Nope!

We’ve recently talked a lot about building a personal and professional brand as a nursing profession, what’s your take on this? How do you do this yourself?

chelsea rofles nurse in fitness center sitting smiling

I love this question. Every individual has a personal brand. It doesn’t mean you have to have 100,000 Instagram followers, write a book or start your own company. It’s about how you live your day to day life on and off the job. How do you want to be seen? How do you want to be remembered? What do you want to be known for? I like to think of it as an individualized lifestyle, you can do what you want with it.

It’s an ongoing challenge, a way to check in with your personal and career goals, emotions, and your happiness factor. What makes me ultimately happy is keeping a caring heart, serving as a role model to live optimally through a healthy, balanced lifestyle, expressing my creativity and surrounding myself with things and people that make me strive to be better. In my dream world, my “personal brand” will leave a positive mark on each and every person I cross paths with along the journey of life.

What gets you out of bed in the morning? What gives you energy?

This amazing thing called life! We only get to live it once and therefore I try to continuously remind myself to live each day to its fullest potential with a smile on my face. I’m energized by challenge and pushing to be the best version of myself.

What do you most enjoy about your role as a nurse? What gives you that burst of energy and swell in the chest?

At the end of the day, it’s all about helping others and brightening their day. Whether it’s a patient, a family, or even a co-worker having a rough one, I find joy in doing my best to keep the hospital a positive environment. I truly find it rewarding to make a difference in a patient’s stay whether it’s making sure the kitchen doesn’t screw up their lunch order or working together to facilitate patient goals with the health care team and provide the best possible care that I can.

Not gonna lie, I like the gory stuff.  To me, a rapid response is exhilarating and allows me to use my critical thinking skills to resolve in the situation at hand. Come on, who doesn’t love a little dose of unexpected adrenaline now and then?

chelsea rofles nurse jumping in front of wall that says i love you so much

Do you think it’s important to identify with other aspects of life in addition to “nurse” or “nursing?

For me, it’s mental and emotional. I love the physical aspect, sitting at a desk all day does not excite me in any way so I love that I’m always on the move. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel that the standard stereotype of nursing is that yes- our days are long and hard, but that our patients always smile and tell us how much they appreciate us.

Uhhh, reality check! I’ve been called every name in the book, hit, kicked and even spit on, yet I still keep my head up and provide equal patient care with a smile on my face. I say that to say- when a patient sincerely thanks me or goes out of their way to make me feel appreciated it really is what keeps me going and makes my job feel so rewarding. On the up side, this definitely carries over beyond nursing and into my personal life.

This work environment has helped me to build an emotional confidence. I am not taken down by others’ negative comments or actions and feel that I am genuinely positive and optimistic. Eh, maybe some harsh name calling and a little spit paid off after all?? I guess that’s my optimism kicking in…


What do you wish the world knew about nursing?

This one’s simple. Our job as a nurse is to care. Define that how you wish. It’s as complex as bedside nursing care. It’s as simple as making one person smile each day with an act of kindness, maybe it’s a hug. If everyone contributed a little more care to the world, it truly would be a better place.

What do you think is in store for the future of nursing? What about for your nursing career? What changes do you hope to see the most in nursing?

The future of nursing is promising, exciting, intriguing and quite concrete. It truthfully isn’t going anywhere and that allows for so much room to cultivate, transform and modernize the world of nursing. As nurses, we know the flaws, we know the imbalances, we deal with them first hand. I feel passionate that there are ways to innovate the nursing model bringing more positivity into the nursing environment which ultimately leads to better nurses, better care and happier patients.

As far as my career, I would feel privileged to have an impact on this fabulous, empowering, continually growing and evolving profession that I am grateful to be a part of.

chelsea rofles nurse at trusted health hiking on mountain with city in the background
  • Healthiest habit for work days: Take 5 deep breaths multiple times throughout the day. The nervous system always appreciates a little dose of zen. Nurses especially, forget the power of deep breathing during the chaos of a typical work day.
  • My work mornings usually start with…A quick meditation, hot lemon water and a homemade matcha potion or smoothie
  • Go-to meal that I pack for work: Veggies veggies veggies! Along with a lean protein or quinoa and some healthy fats (I might be avocado obsessed…). For a snack, I usually pop a homemade energy ball or treat myself to a Kombucha.
  • Favorite thing to do on a day-off: Make a mess in the kitchen creating healthy recipes, always get outside for an activity (hike, run, yoga, cycle- you name it) and get quality catch up time with friends and family in person or via the good old telephone. (sorry couldn’t pick just one)
  • Favorite app: Spotify. Might be cliché but music is just so good for the soul. For meditation I love Headspace.
  • Clogs or sneakers? Sneakers all the way
  • If I wasn’t a nurse, I would probably be..A natural food chef
  • Compression stockings, compression socks, or neither? Any and all, gotta keep that blood flowin’!
  • Puke, poop, sputum, IV starts in babies, we’ve all got our aversion, what’s yours? It takes a lot to make me squeamish but I’ve gotta go with a classic C. diff poop
  • Go-to choice of caffeine? Matcha
Sarah Gray, RN

Sarah is a Pediatric Clinical Nurse III at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital and a UCSF 2017 Evidence Based Practice Fellow. A New Jersey native, Sarah graduated from Penn Nursing and has been living in San Francisco ever since. She's been an athlete her whole life and continues to be passionate about health, fitness, and making the most of all opportunities. She continues to harness her passion for innovation and process improvement in her role as Founding Clinician at Trusted Health.

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