Carisa Palmer’s Avalon Story

There is something that grabs hold of us and reels us in. Below is my story.

I interviewed for my very first nursing job just over 4 years ago. I had in my mind that I would NOT accept the first job offered to me, that I would make a wise decision and be sure that I was making the best choice for me and my family. Why in the world would I want to drive for 30 minutes to get to work when I live 5 minutes away from the local hospitals?

Well, I did just what I had planned NOT to do. I took the first job offered to me at Avalon Hills. I drive 30 minutes each way to get to and from work for my scheduled shift, or when I'm called in for an emergency, or for nursing meetings. And I don't regret it. 4 years later, I've graduated as a Registered Nurse and I am now working full-time as the lead nurse at the adolescent unit. Next spring, I will have a bachelor's degree in nursing and I have no plans for making a 5 minute drive over my current 30 minute drive.

Why? I love my coworkers. Over the years there have been some changes in the nursing department. I am now fortunate enough to work under and along side the great Lesle Dickey, the most kind and compassionate person I've ever met in my life. I get to see Chad in action with each patient. I get to help train and watch new nurses learn the ropes. I get to watch Anne (for a few more days) innocently swoop in and show each patient that, even though she might look like a push-over, she will not be swayed. I get to work with Jan when the houses simultaneously implode and we need nurses and DC staff, PRONTO! I get to listen as Stephen puts the smack down on insurance from the tiny little office attached to the nursing office in Petersboro. I get to be there as the therapists make rational decisions when I just want to pull out my mom voice. I get to watch the various DC staff, neuro techs, case managers, and nurses step up and and make each house run smoothly at all hours of the day and night.

I also get to watch "the switch". The switch is when the light comes on in a patient and they CHOOSE recovery. The light their eyes is bright and even happy. I don't get to see it with every patient, but when I see it, I remember that Avalon is the answer. I remember why we deal with the difficult months when a patient is struggling with letting go of that evil eating disorder. And I remember that sometimes, it really is MONTHS. And that is okay. Sometimes that is what it takes. And I remember that Avalon stands behind each and every patients.

That is why I believe in Avalon. Nobody gives up.

- Carisa Palmer, RN

treat to outcome

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