Monday, May 11, 2020

Graduate Profile: Deidre Miller


Deidre Miller is a nurse. It’s a profession that has become even more challenging recently. Miller isn’t put off by challenges. She gets to the heart of things.

“It’s a rewarding job. You get to take care of people,” she said. “The best part is seeing patients come around and know that you were a part of their recovery.”

The twenty-nine year-old from Gainesboro is an LPN surgical nurse at Cookeville Regional Medical Center. The major disruptions to the medical system recently led to a furlough for her. She just went back to work last week. “I don’t ever stop. When I was furloughed, I was going crazy, because I have to be doing something 24/7.”

But she is keeping busy doing something she would not have imagined. “I’ve been home schooling a 14 year-old and that’s been challenging. My aunt passed away in 2014 and I have her 23-year-old and 14-year-old kids living with me.”

The tragedy is a family rallying point. “My grandpa helped me set up a home we could live in. It’s very rewarding to be able to be a role model to them. I can never fill her shoes, but I can help them. I have had to grow up very fast. We’re neighbors with all my family. I have a really good support system.”

Caring for kids while going to school is difficult, but especially so for a 23-year-old without experience as a parent. “I’ve learned I needed them as much as they needed me and I didn’t realize it.”

And there was still the issue of school and her career. She took classes at Vol State in Livingston and Cookeville while caring for the children. Her goal was to become a Registered Nurse. “I’ve been an LPN for ten years. I was going to Vol State and trying to decide which nursing school to attend. So, when I found out that Vol State was starting an RN Nursing program, I immediately applied.”

Miller is not only in the first class of Vol State nursing students, she is the class president. And all of that during a crazy semester of change due to COVID-19. “I have taken every concern to our faculty and staff and they have responded. It’s been tough with the COVID-19 issues. Everything switched to online. Nursing is very difficult to understand and it’s hard if you can’t easily ask questions. They have amazing faculty and staff in that program. They have been there through it all. We’re going to be done in August and I am going to take the RN exam as soon as I can. I’m ready to get it under my belt.”

In the meantime, she is helping 14 year-old Kiara finish the school year. Twenty-three year old Haley is also a Vol State student, taking classes through Livingston and Cookeville.”

The medical world is likely to continue to be challenging for quite some time. Deidre says she just wants to be where the action is. “I would like to be a float nurse or work in the emergency department. You never know what you are going to get.”

1 comment:

V said...

I'm super proud of you! Can't wait to see where you'll end up and all the lives you'll change.