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The Privilege of Caring for Patients

Nurses Week Laura E1525679430638

In celebration of National Nurses Week, our CipherHealth nurses share how they are driving innovation in healthcare through patient engagement technology. This is part three in a series of blog posts authored by our nurses.

On Christmas Day in 1962, my brother and I both received biographies of famous people as gifts. Greg’s book about Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders certainly captured his attention, but my brother did not become President. On the other hand, my book about Clara Barton provided a valuable introduction to the nursing profession. Years later, I received my BSN in Nursing from Saint Louis University. I started college focusing on political science, economics, and French literature, but tested the healthcare waters working as a nurse’s aide and phlebotomist. I realized how transformative the nurse-patient relationship could be and knew that I wanted to be part of that process of making a difference. Upon finishing my first degree, I decided to become a nurse.

By reinventing myself in a variety of healthcare settings, I experienced many wonderful opportunities and challenges throughout my nursing career. I have worked in a surgical ICU within an academic medical center and with chronically-ill pediatric patients who needed dialysis and transplantation. Most recently, I worked as a research nurse in autonomic neurology. These experiences all allowed me to learn and grow in vastly different ways. The strong multidisciplinary teams I have worked with in each setting were as much a part of my growth as the the patients we were there to serve. I enjoyed developing close relationships with my patients and their families – helping them through challenging situations and conversely, seeing them achieve milestones. Beyond the hospital setting, I have triaged patients on a 24-hour nurse line to provide education on how to best manage their plan of care at home. I had the opportunity to work with some of the same children and families for ten years and later, provided education and guidance for patients over the phone.

Regardless of the care setting, nurses meet their patients when they are at their most vulnerable. We care for individuals when they are scared because their futures are uncertain. We help them make choices that are better in the context of their lives. We have a chance to make a positive connection through our voices and presence, our powers of observation and distraction, and the ability to provide clarity, humor, comfort, education and advocacy. Throughout it all, it has been a privilege to care for these individuals and to become part of their lives.

Today, I love what I do because I work with an amazing team of committed and collaborative professionals to transform the future of patient engagement. My role at CipherHealth is to uncover the challenges that nurses and healthcare professionals experience in acute care settings, introducing them to the technology platform that empowers effective engagement of patients across the care continuum and improved care coordination and management.

I am a nurse to make another’s experience safer, easier, and better. As a nurse, people trust us to do our very best for them. As part of the CipherHealth team, I am proud to help patients and staff navigate the evolving healthcare environment and drive improved patient outcomes through technology.

Laura Colburn Headshot
Laura Colburn, BSN brings over 35 years of clinical practice and research experience to her role as an Account Executive at CipherHealth. Previously, Laura worked with chronically-ill pediatric patients in a variety of clinical and community settings, and leveraged her clinical expertise to triage and provide support for patients through a 24/7 nurse line. Laura is passionate about empowering healthcare providers to improve patient outcomes through the use of innovative technology.

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