Outpatient Surgery Magazine - Subscribers

Year of the Nurse - November 2020 - Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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Page 27 of 83

2 8 • O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • N O V E M B E R 2 0 2 0 W hen new nurses make the initial jump from nursing school to patient care, it's often a jarring and challenging transi- tion. When Carter Todd, MS, RN, a pediatric intensive care nurse at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, Calif., found himself at that critical juncture, he certainly felt sup- ported by his peers. Despite that support, however, something was still missing for Mr. Todd. "When I started working as a nurse on a unit with almost 100 nurses, there weren't very many guys, and there definitely weren't very many men of color that I could relate to or talk to about my experience," he says. "That's when I joined the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA)." Mr. Todd found the support and mentorship he'd been seeking, and also landed a career-changing opportunity. "The president of the NBNA actually called me and said, 'Hey, we need a chapter in Sacramento. Why don't you start one?' That was all it took," says Mr. Todd. After getting over feeling starstruck by a personal call from the president, Mr. Todd got to work. While pursuing his master's degree in leadership, he partnered with other alumni and students at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis to establish the Capitol City Black Nurses Association. The chapter of the NBNA started with 15 nurses and has since grown to more than 40 members. Male nurses make up less than 10% of the entire nursing population, and that percentage is even lower among African-American men. That's some- thing Mr. Todd is working diligently to change through community outreach and advocacy. While pursuing his Master's degree in leadership, he went to three Sacramento barbershops — businesses that generally serve as a hub of cultural influence for Black men — and interviewed customers about their perceptions of the nursing profession. "I learned a lot about both what I assumed men thought about a nursing career and what they really thought about the profession," says Mr. Todd. "I love this profession, and I value it greatly, but I did- n't think that was everyone's outlook. I was happy to hear that other guys respected nursing in the same way I do." Mr. Todd will continue visiting barbershops and speaking about the possibility of a career in nurs- ing. As soon as the pandemic permits, he hopes to "bring the hospital to the black community" by providing education and exposure to health pro- fessionals in the authentic and organic environ- ment of the local barbershop. Mr. Todd first felt drawn to the nursing profes- sion because of the example set by two of his aunts. "I wanted to become a nurse because they were nurses," he says. "I saw the life they lived, and I really looked up to them." Through his outreach and advocacy efforts, Mr. Todd aims to serve as a similar example for men in the Black community and show them the many ben- efits of a career in nursing. "There's a need to high- light the avenues within nursing for people like me," he says. Mr. Todd believes the media and culture paint a picture of who nurses supposedly are, and he's out to give that take a new look. — Jared Bilski SHOP TALK Carter Todd (right) visits barbershops in predominantly black neighborhoods and talks to customers about their perceptions of the nursing profession. UC Regents Changing the Face of Nursing

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