Hi there! Science Cheerleader Hilary here to introduce you to Lauren, a full-time registered nurse who is currently in her second season with the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders! Read on below to learn all about Lauren.
What turned you on to nursing and when?
Some people know from a young age that they want to pursue a career in nursing, but this was not the case for me. Not only did I not know what I wanted to do, but at first, I rejected the idea of nursing. I went on a mission trip to South Africa for a few weeks with my family. We spent day after day working in the hospitals/schools/clinics etc. and it completely changed my heart. I saw how much suffering was taking place in this world and how much a loving heart meant to the patients in that time of need. Becoming a nurse was an amazing choice because it allows me to spend every single day giving my life to help others.
Why did you try out to be a professional cheerleader?
I was a studio dancer my whole life and when I decided to go to nursing school, I decided to give up dancing. Although nursing is amazing, I still felt like something was missing. When the opportunity to attend a prep class presented itself, I took it. I had the time of my life in that one class and after that, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind about auditioning.
What’s a day on the job like for you?
I begin my work day at about 6:30 a.m. I arrive early to look up the background on my patients before I receive reports from the night nurse. Then I spend my day taking care of the patients’ needs, passing out medications, and sending home the patients that have permission from the doctor. I also teach a lot of my patients about their diagnosis and how to handle their medical problems when they are discharged from the hospital.
What does it mean for you to be practicing in healthcare?
This profession means so much to me. I started off having very little desire to get into this field and now, I am determined to make a difference in the lives of every single patient that I get the privilege to take care of. I want to be someone to lean on, a helping hand in a hard time, and a shoulder to cry on. I am blessed with the opportunity to help people every single day and I will never take that responsibility lightly. I am so thankful to be where I am today and I wouldn’t change my role in this field for anything.
How do the qualities that make you a great cheerleader benefit you in your nursing career?
To be a great cheerleader, you must be positive, supportive of your teammates, and dedicated to what you do because it is hard work. Nursing is the same. It is long hours and hard days sometimes, but the dedication to your patients is what keeps you positive.
Have you faced a situation where you had to challenge a stereotype about cheerleaders?
I have experienced this stereotype many times since I have been on the team. It seems difficult for people to grasp, not only that a cheerleader has the capability to be a nurse, but that a cheerleader has time to be a nurse. During season, I work three days a week and practice at least three days a week. That is a lot of work! I think there are a lot of girls on the team that break the negative cheerleader stereotypes and it makes me proud to be a part of a team with such successful and hardworking women.
Best cheerleading experience?
I was blessed with the opportunity to travel with the Miami Dolphins and visit our military overseas. This was truly a life-changing trip for me. I was so humbled by seeing, first hand, the sacrifice that these men and women make. I made memories on that trip that will truly last a lifetime.
Best nursing-related experience?
The first time I performed CPR on a patient was the best nursing-related experience I have ever had. The patient survived and has been back to the hospital to visit several times to say “thank you.” Knowing that I have the opportunity, every single day, to save someone’s life is truly incredible.
What advice would you give your 12-year-old self?
I would tell myself to never give up. When you are looking at your goals, sometimes they seem so far away, but that is ok. If it were easy, everyone would do it. Take things one day at a time, make small goals and never EVER stop striving to be better.
What’s one thing people might find especially surprising about you?
I was born in an ambulance!