UPHS — Marquette Heroes | Edith Nelson, RN

Edith Nelson, RN, nurse on the Family Birthing Unit at UP Health System – Marquette.

What is your role at UPHS – Marquette?
I am a nurse on the Family Birthing Unit at UP Health System – Marquette.

What was your inspiration for getting into healthcare?
Nursing is a second career for me. After a series of significant losses in my life, I realized that my previous career wasn’t soul-satisfying. I felt that I needed to be able to give back, support, and serve. It took me a long time, but getting my RN degree was a huge life change — and I’ve never looked back.

What’s a typical day like for you? What is it like working in this field?
Working as a Labor & Delivery Nurse is a special calling. There’s nothing quite like it. It’s either the best day in the world or the worst day in the world for the families I work with. You have to be present with your patients and emotionally engaged through it all.

How long have you been employed here? Have you always been in the same position?
I am just starting my fourth year on the Family Birthing Unit.

What are some of the big changes you have experienced in this position?
The biggest challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic has been having to wear the extra PPE while trying to coach our patients through labor. The PPE can separate you from the patient, so communication is challenging and anxiety is higher than normal. Our nursing in Family Birthing involves so much contact and support, so we do all that we can to overcome this challenge.

What are some of your interests outside of work? What is your favorite local gem?
I currently serve on the board of the Fresh Coast Film Festival, which is coming up. I love the outdoors, my garden, hiking with my dog, Mozzie, a good campfire, and spending time with my friends and husband. Local gem? Fresh Coast Free — a free, family-friendly event in October. I also like the Forest Lake Basin for paddling.

What do you enjoy most about working at UPHS – Marquette?
Without a doubt, it’s my fellow awesome staff on the night shift. We’re a special team. I never have to worry about asking for help or needing extra support — we have each other’s back. From laughter to tears, my coworkers are amazing and make my job so much better.

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