Day at Work: Registered Nurse
My name is Keith Koga. I’m a registered
nurse, and I work in primary care. So primary care is kind of a generalist kinda specialty. He or she knows a broad range of a different diagnosis and things like that. In high school I think I was always kinda into nutrition, I think that kind of started the interest. I was hospitalized, like, I think it was almost twenty
years ago for some depression and things like that,
and when I was in the hospital the way I was treated was just kind of
like a really, really good first impression. Just that experienced was really kind of
a life-changer for me. I really was like, “Wow, this is something
that I think I could do well.” I graduated high school 1990 and I think —
I think I took a year off. I really didn’t have any plans for
school — I kind of was just I just didn’t really like high school
that much — I didn’t really — attend a lot of classes, almost didn’t
graduate. I finally did graduate though and then went to community college and actually kind of enjoyed it. And then attended for a few years
and got my associates degree, and then I took that nursing path, started doing the
nursing prerequisites. I went through RN to BSN program through the University of Washington. With nursing there’s all kinds of different routes you can go. I think at that time I was a little bit older,
a little bit more mature. And I was more motivated to do this because it was kind of something that I really really wanted. If you don’t keep up with technology, you’re not gonna succeed in the field.
The use of email, secure messaging — — we do text alerts now for when refills
are ready, appointment confirmations are done through text messaging, everybody’s converting to computer
charting. If you’re not up to date with it, you’re going to be
left behind I think. In my position, I do a lot more patient education, a lot of
phone calls, lots of following up on how patients are doing.
So, it tends to be a little bit more administrative. “Let’s get your blood pressure, um because if — sometimes — if you have a low blood pressure, that
can make you dizzy…” “Okay.” “so let’s check that first.” I had a lot of mentors. I kind of used some of the nurses that I’ve worked with as mentors. When I was at the University of
Washington Medical Center, I co-chaired a mentor program. You know, everyone kind of relied on each other, and you know who you could go to um for help if you needed it. If you like to help people, look into nursing as a serious career. Getting the feedback after you’ve helped somebody. Just the
thank yous — and I think that’s what makes being in the profession worth it.