Education Grant Helps Burn Survivor Pursue Career in Nursing

As Betty was recovering from a burn injury, her nurses quickly became her support system. She remembers one nurse who was extraordinarily compassionate and caring, and later found out that she was also a burn survivor.

“I realized then in my hospital bed that my calling was in advocating for other burn victims as my nurse had done for me,” she said.

Inspired by her own experience and with the help of the recent award of a 2015 Phoenix Education Grant (PEG), Betty is working toward a nursing degree. She obtained her Emergency Medical Technician license and is a Certified Nursing Assistant. She also returned to the hospital where she was treated to volunteer and serve as a mentor to those navigating their own burn recovery.

“Overcoming many life challenges allows me to empathize with the emotional and  physical hurdles faced by survivors and to identify crucial areas of need as a healthcare provider in burn rehabilitation,” she explained.

The six weeks Betty spent in the burn unit gave her perspective into great patient care. She learned that pain management doesn’t just mean physical pain, but encompasses emotional and psychological pain too. 

In the 16 years since her burn injury, Betty’s appreciation for the medical care she received has grown. She looks forward to a career providing great care to those who need it. With just one year of her degree left, her goal is within reach.

“I decided that I would not let my tragedies define me; rather, I would make a positive impact on others and let that define me.”

Story contributed with permission by AlloSource, one of the nation’s largest non-profit providers of skin, bone, and soft tissue allografts for use in surgical procedures and the world’s largest processor of cellular bone allografts.  In 2013, AlloSource pledged a 10-year gift to support Phoenix Society’s Phoenix Education Grant program for burn survivor students pursuing their post-secondary education.  AlloSource blog: http://www.allograftpossibilities.org

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