Alana asked each of us here at The Immunization Partnership to write a little about how we got here and why we do what we do. This week we continue the series with Danielle, Director of Operations.
Danielle Hughes, RN MBA | Director of Operations
I’ve known I wanted to be a nurse since I was 16 years old.
My grandmother was a licensed vocational nurse. She worked in a nursing home taking care of geriatric patients. In her fifties, she became ill and slipped into a diabetic coma. She was never able to care for herself afterwards, so my mother reluctantly placed her in a nursing facility close to our home.
Being so close enabled us to check on her daily, but it also gave me my first glimpse into the field of patient care. I drove to the nursing home on Saturdays and spent hours assisting the nurses with my grandmother. I would also help to feed, bathe, and walk the other residents. I truly enjoyed being around the nursing home residents and learning from the nurses who patiently cared for the elderly population.
I believe this experience served two purposes. First, visiting the nursing home so frequently reassured me in knowing my grandmother was receiving the best care possible while in the nursing home and helped to decrease my mother’s anxieties. Secondly, volunteering at the nursing home opened the door and shaped my career as a registered nurse.
I have since worked in healthcare for the past 18 years. As a registered nurse, I’ve had the privilege of taking care of some of the most vulnerable adults and critically ill children. I have also played an instrumental role in assisting hospitals transition from paper documentation into an electronic health record. In all of my experiences, what I know about myself is that I have a need and compassion to help people.
I am the mother of two beautiful and active children. I’ve always been diligent about scheduling my children’s well-child exams and ensuring their immunizations were up to date. Unfortunately, there are persons in our community who are not as diligent. Due to misinformation, misunderstanding, or plain complacency, they choose not to immunize. What these parents are not considering is the fact that their decisions also impact the health and well-being of other children and vulnerable adults in our community.
Working at The Immunization Partnership provides me the opportunity to advocate and address the misinformation and misunderstanding people may have about immunizations every day. We believe in collaborating with our peers in the community in an effort to focus on the promotion of health and wellness for children and adults.
I think about the mission and vision of our organization. I know without question that by working for The Immunization Partnership, lives are changed every day. There is no doubt that we are positively impacting people who are trying to make sound healthcare decisions for their children and themselves. Through our efforts to educate the community about the importance of immunizations, these parents come to understand why it is critical to protect their family and community from vaccine preventable diseases.