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#FeaturedFriday - Delicia H, "Cute Enough to Stop your Heart, Skilled Enough to Restart It".

The road to Nursing was no easy path for Delicia. Graduating from one of the top Nursing programs in the nation, St. Xavier University, Delicia knows first hand the many struggles that come with college and also the challenge of staying positive when things do not always look promising. 

As a kid, Delicia recalls conversations with her family about how her dreams of becoming a doctor. She made the decision her senior year of high school to start on her medical journey by and made the choice to become a Registered Nurse. Delicia recalls Nursing school being extremely challenging. She explained that she failed several courses and was even put on academic probation in her last two semesters before graduation. She was extremely discouraged and thought she would flunk out of school, although she was so close to completion. While she was in school, her Grandfather had a heart attack and went completely blind. In those moments she could not see herself moving on and thought she would not finish school. Things shifted for Delicia when she began to see the recovery of her grandfather and how well her grandmother took care of him. It reminded her just how a Nurse on the hospital floor would take care of the sick. Her grandparents encouraged her and became her motivation to finish strong academically and earn her Bachelor’s Degree for not just herself, but for them. 

Delicia was overjoyed as she finally completed nursing school and received her degree but soon ran into more trouble after graduation. "I could not pass my State Boards to become an RN", Delicia explained. She further explained that she took the exam 3 times (over a year and a half time span) and FINALLY passed. Things did not get easier for her after completing her board exam. Delicia was certain that with her Degree and after passing her exams, she would be able to find a job quickly at one of the many hospitals but unfortunately things were not that easy for her. "After passing the exam, I could not find a job to save my life. I was a new graduate that sat out for almost 2 years and it seemed as though no hiring manager wanted to take a chance on me", Delica explained. She continued, "One day while I was home feeling stressed and uncertain, I recalled a conversation between myself & a manager from a hospital. I was a student nurse in my senior year of college and he gave me his contact information and told me to call him once I passed boards, because he had a job for me. I called him almost 2 years later and he followed through on his word and  hired me on my 24th Birthday. I landed my first RN position at Ingalls Hospital on a Med-Surgical/ Neurological Unit"

Delicia is living proof of how things can turn around if you are hardworking and never give up regardless to the circumstances. Since getting her start at Ingalls Hospital, Delicia has also worked at Christ Hospital, as a Cardiac/Telemetry RN, Cardiovascular Thoracic ICU RN and a Float RN. After staying at Christ for 2 1/2 years, she became interested in case management and took a position as a Hospice Hospital Liaision/ Case Manager. She knew that this would not be her last stop with case management but that it would be a stepping stone for her career. A year later, she accepted a position as a RN Case Manager at RUSH University Medical Center.

We asked Delicia what advice she had for anyone struggling to finish school or feeling discouraged to finish, she replied, "Don’t give up no matter what; keep praying and pushing forward! God hears our prayers just as well as the devil does, he wouldn’t be working so hard to keep you from accomplishing those goals if he did not know how powerful our God is and how all things are possible through Him. Once you reach that goal of getting that degree/certification/license, you will understand why the devil worked so hard. It always gets greater later, just keep holding on and trusting in Him".

When we asked her to explain the joy she feels being able to help others and some of the disappointment she feels not being able to help everyone, Delicia stated that, "The joy that I personally get from helping my patients are seeing them come in literally at ground zero; literally sick, shut in, can barely eat, walk or talk, confused, in pain and watching their progress until they are discharged to go home. You literally see how you have helped them day in and day out. How you have helped stabilize them, helped them gain their physical strength, personal confidence, ability to complete daily activities and return to living on their own (when just a week ago you had to feed them, change them, clean them and even dress them). It gives me so much happiness to see that, like wow I helped them get back to their old self or close to it. My only struggle with dealing with patients is their lack of compliance with medications/ and following up appointments with their physicians/ not changing their lifestyle as instructed to. This is a daily struggle, however it takes a lot of education about health and reinforcement from childhood to adulthood for people to understand why our health is so important. And in some of our communities, healthcare awareness and education is not a priority as it should be".

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