Alicia Johnson made her decision to become a nurse at just about the same age of many of her patients.
“When I was 17, I had to decide on a career path after graduation from high school and I chose nursing pragmatically, thinking that it would be a flexible career with a lot of opportunity and variety,” Johnson said. “During nursing school, I realized that caring for others came very naturally to me. It felt like the right path.”
In her role as a nurse in the Adolescent Unit at Brenner Children’s Hospital, Johnson is often not only a nurse, but also a “cheerleader and motivator,” according to Christin Siscoe, Johnson’s supervisor.
“Patients often sing her praises for the care she provides and the parents are grateful for the humor, knowledge and support she offers them on an individual basis,” Siscoe said. “Alicia can remember all her patients by their first names even after they have been discharged, and she remains their biggest advocate post discharge, and aids them in their healing and growth once they return to the community. She is selfless, caring and remarkable in her skills.”
Johnson has been a nurse at Brenner Children’s Hospital for nearly 20 years. Siscoe said that Johnson’s commitment to her patients stands out and notes one example of the quality of care she provides.
“We have a chronic patient that stays admitted on our unit for weeks to months at a time alone in his room,” Siscoe said. “Alicia goes above and beyond by going to restaurants to buy him his lunch or supper… her presence allows school teachers to enter and provide him with the education he needs to graduate, it allows educators the chance to improve his outcome through communication and compliance, and it allows staff to provide him with the best care possible.”
Johnson says she enjoys the flexibility and opportunity that a nursing career offers, as well as many memorable experiences.
“Every day is a new adventure, meeting new people, learning new things,” she said. “I have worked with kids for over 20 years, and I meet kids and their families from all walks of life and facing many different types of illnesses or injuries. I am constantly moved by how they cope and adapt!
“Nursing can be gruesome, heart-wrenching, stressful and busy, but it is also one of the most rewarding careers!” Johnson said. “It is an honor and privilege to help people during their most vulnerable time and offer care, kindness, and support.”