Pediatric Nurse and Nurse Advocate: Lindsay Riddell
Today, we want to highlight one of our talented Nurse Advocates, Lindsay Riddell, who has her own history as an experienced pediatric nurse. Let’s hear it from her!
What was your first experience with nursing?
My first experience with nursing was in the pediatric office as a kid. I’d go for my yearly checkup or when a family member or I was super sick, and I was able to experience it first hand.
What influence did this have on your decision to become a nurse?
I’ve always loved kids and knew I wanted to do something to help children specifically. My Dad owns a medical company and works closely with hospitals and nurses, so as I got older, he introduced me to what nursing really entailed. I realized it would put me in the perfect position to support both children and their families.
What advice would you give someone considering nursing as a profession?
Do it! Nursing is the hardest thing you will ever love. There is also so much opportunity within nursing, both at and away from the bedside. It really is a wonderful career. That said, it’s important to ask yourself, “Why do you want to be a nurse?” There’s no right or wrong answer, but you must have an answer that you can get behind (and stay behind).
What's your take on building a professional brand as a nurse? How do you do this yourself?
I think building a personal and professional brand boils down to what you want people to see you as. Your brand is what sets you apart, what makes you unique -- both personally and professionally. It’s super important, even when working for a huge company or corporation. People want to make connections and feel like they know who you are and what you are about; they want to feel a connection to the people, not the company.
Personally, I put myself out there on social media and speak to people about who I am personally and professionally. A lot of it is being relatable, having a story, and allowing people to see who you are and what makes you unique!
What gets you out of bed in the morning? Gives you energy?
Honestly, I'm not a huge morning person, and a lot of times it’s my alarm that gets me out of bed after several snoozes. But really, the things that make me feel alive are relationships with people, exploring new places, sunshine, the ocean, and knowing I’m here with a purpose! I get energy from coffee, puppies, children, inspiring conversations, cold showers, love, flowers, and swimming in the ocean!
What do you think is the most difficult part of being a nurse?
The difficult days, the ones where you do not get a break, a patient dies, you are understaffed, you have an extremely difficult family to deal with -- all these things are emotionally and physically draining and make being a nurse really hard!
But nursing is a weird thing, because the opposite of all these things are what makes being a nurse so worth it to me: the days when you see a patient walk again for the first time or go home with a full recovery… even the days I simply really connect with a patient and their family, or the days the teamwork is out-of-this-world amazing.
Do you think it's important to identify with other aspects of life in addition to "nurse" or "nursing?”
Absolutely! It’s so easy for us nurses to get burnt out, and a necessity to prevent burnout is finding a way in your life to keep the balance. One great way to do this is to have a life outside of nursing. This makes you a well-rounded (and better rested) human, and allows you to be an even better nurse when you are on the job.
What do you wish the world knew about nursing?
That we are not in it for the money or the schedule, and that it takes a super special heart to be a nurse!
What do you think is in store for the future of nursing? Your future career?
With health care evolving more than ever, and the expanding roles of nurses, it’s hard to say what the future really looks like. One thing I do know is that nurses are a special kind of team and no matter what happens or where our future lies, we all have to stick together!
As for my career, I'm looking to learn and grow a lot with my Trusted family and as a nurse advocate, to provide the best possible experience for nurses to connect with career opportunities. I also love the bedside and could never give it up completely, so I’m still working at the bedside a few times a month to get my patient care fill in!
Tell us about your floral business! How did you get started?
Oh flowers, they make me so happy! I was severely craving a creative outlet, something that made my brain think differently. I have always loved flowers, and after planning my wedding and adoring the whole process of it, I knew I wanted to start doing florals on the side. I talked a lot about this with my hubby who was always telling me to “just do it,” and so that is exactly what I did.
I started buying flowers, playing with them, watching tons of tutorials on how to do certain designs and arrangement. I started working locally with a florist, fell in love with the skill, and the rest is history. Also, this is going to sound super corny, but after being a nurse for nine years, I was starting to feel like I was often a part of peoples’ worst days (which is an honor in its own way, don't get me wrong), but I wanted to be a part of peoples’ best days, too.
Life for me is all about the relationships we make and how we love the people in our lives. Being a nurse and a florist allows me to do all of these things; I get to love people through the worst days of their lives as well as on the best days! It's a really great feeling, and this honor is not lost on me!
And lastly, a few fun nursing questions!
Healthiest habit for work days: Start the day with the gym! Get a good nap in before night shift.
My work mornings usually start with: strong coffee and a solid game plan for the day.
Go-to meal that I pack for work: taco salad (or any delicious thing my chef hubby decides to make)!
Favorite thing to do on a day-off: Swim in the ocean!
Favorite app: I wish I had a better answer than this but... #instagram #doitforthegram
Clogs or sneakers? both.
If I wasn't a nurse, I would probably be: a traveling florist or a florist, travel blogger.
Compression stockings, compression socks, or neither? Compression socks.
Puke, poop, sputum, IV starts in babies, we've all got our aversion, what's yours? POOP.
Go-to choice of caffeine? Give me all the caffeine; I do not discriminate!