Kalli Daggett, RN of 3 years from Ohio, has been an IntelyPro for a year and focuses on dementia and assisted living.
“I find that working with dementia patients is similar to my previous work in psychiatric nursing. It can be a challenge. Giving care to people whose brains work so differently than ours and whose behavior is so different. But when I can connect with a patient and make them smile, it’s one of the most rewarding feelings.”
Kalli knows that her patients may feel particularly alone or isolated given how disorienting dementia and Alzheimers can be. And she’s aware that the pandemic has exacerbated these feelings. It’s harder for the memory of their families to be fresh in their minds when visitations are limited or they have to see them through a screen. Many residents are “terrified of the virus and it deeply affects their mental state… When I see that, I consider myself lucky that I still get to go to work and care for people, despite the dangerous circumstances.”
Even with the added stressors of the pandemic, Kalli is up for the challenge. “When I was younger, I always knew I wanted to be a nurse and care for people. My mom always saw it in me as well, encouraging me to go to nursing school. I was originally going to get my education in psychology, but I merged psychology with nursing and found that I could be a psychiatric nurse and explored the nursing industry from there. It’s just a passion of mine; taking care of people who are often misunderstood.”
When Kalli worked in a psych unit, she heard from a co-worker who was using IntelyCare that she could build her own schedule and she wouldn’t have to work holidays if she didn’t want to. “When I heard that I could have that kind of flexibility, I knew I had to at least try it … When I had a full-time job, I was often forced to work shifts on holidays that got in the way of important personal and family time, and I was forced to work certain days of the week, too”.
Kalli mentions that “being able to pick what weeks I want to have vacations and plan my schedule accordingly is a real plus because I love to travel,” sharing that she loved going on trips to places in Asia. She made a trip to Tokyo back in 2018 and said that she plans to go back there soon, saying, “I know coronavirus has put a stop to traveling, but once it’s safe to see the world again, that’s going to be my hobby.”
When she’s not traveling the world, she loves to spend time with her friends and family and gets out for jogs on the beach. After a tough day on the job, there’s nothing better than a beautiful sunset to decompress and reset for another day.
When asked what advice she’d give to her younger self, Kalli said that “I’d tell myself to have more confidence. I lacked confidence when I first started out, but as I developed as a nurse, I realized that confidence can be contagious and put others at ease in difficult scenarios … It’s also about having confidence in the reason you’re there. Just knowing that all the little things you do can brighten someone’s day and always reminding yourself that you’re there to make a difference can go a long way.” The other piece of advice she’d give is to never be nervous in asking questions or asking for help. ”Other people are there for you and can only help you grow as a nurse.”
Thanks, Kalli, for sharing your nursing story with us! We’re proud to support you in your healthcare career and admire the great care you give to your patients!
IntelyCare gives nursing professionals like Kalli the ability to transform the way they work. Are you ready to take control of your life? Apply today to get started.