Both of Robin Browns parents have been successfully treated for colon cancer.
Some might guess that personal experience is what led the registered nurse into her career as the manager of Harbin Clinics endoscopy center. They would be wrong.
Actually, Brown began urging her parents to be screened for colon cancer because of her work in the gastroenterology department of the clinic. The American Cancer Society recommends that all adults older than 50 with an average risk of colorectal cancer get regular screenings.
You just dont want to go, said her mother Jody Morrison. She kept telling me to, and I said No, I dont want to go. But she said, I made an appointment.
After Brown bugged her mother into the office, doctors found Morrisons cancer. Half of it was removed, and she underwent nine months of chemotherapy.
Morrison said that she is thankful for her daughters intervention, since it helped her catch her cancer before it could get any worse. Having a daughter who is a nurse also made her feel more comfortable about the procedure.
I think shes a wonderful nurse, Morrison said. She understands people and is just nice to everyone.
For her part, nursing was always something she wanted to do, Brown said. She was drawn to the opportunity to help patients.
A nurse of 11 years, Brown has always worked in an office rather than a hospital setting.
In an office setting there is less concern about the long shifts, holiday hours or late nights that may turn some away from hospital nursing.
And with the increasing specialization in nursing, if you get burned out in one area, there is always a new direction to go with your career, she said.
Its just a rewarding job, she said. There is always a reward at the end of the day. You always help somebody no matter what kind of a day it is.
When you are looking at someones esophagus or stomach, of course you dont want to find cancer, she said. But its very rewarding, she added, when doing her job helps save someones life.
Brown is a terrific nurse said gastroenterologist Dr. Stephen Finn. Physicians have an important role, but the nurses provide the hands-on clinical care.
And being a successful nurse is about more than just a job. It has to come from the heart, Brown said.
You have to have a passion for it or you cant do it, she said. You have to have a love for people.