Real Nurses. Real Stories.


Wali K. RN, BSN

Wali K. RN, BSN @wali_khann

Trauma in Chicago, IL

We need to get away from the pronoun labels - I'm not a male nurse, I'm a nurse.

Q: What made you want to become a nurse?
A: When I became a personal trainer and I worked hands-on with all these different types of people it was great helping them. But I always felt there was something missing. I could do more, learn more, assist a little bit more. I remember in college I took a class health occupations where one of the occupations was nursing and it really called out to me.

Q: What experience in your career has had the biggest impact on you?
A: I was taking care of a patient that was like end of life care and she was around my mother's age at the time. She faced her own mortality with such grace and poise, and everything about her reminded me of my mom. Fast forward some years I ended up in trauma where I'm literally between life and death. Just experiencing death in such an intimate way changes you.

Q: What is the best nursing advice you have received?
A: Don't stop feeling. The ability to feel- that's what one of my mentors taught me and she actually teaches me every day while I work with her. There's nothing wrong with crying with a family member at the bedside. There's nothing wrong with holding a mother's hand at the bedside and praying with her because you don't have any words to offer so offer her. Offer what she needs most at the time: silence and your ears.

Q: What is the most important goal you hope to accomplish as a nurse?
A: Well, two things: first I want to change the way we think about nurses and remove the labels. We don't need classifications like these pronouns in front of our titles: "male nurse" or "female nurse". They don't define our skill set. The second is my personal goal: to go back to school and be a CRNA.

Q: What's the one item in your wardrobe you can't live without?
A: You know what, if you ask any trauma nurses I think this is going to be a consensus, you've got to have your trauma shears because the first thing that we do when a patient comes in. You've got to have trauma shears. Then you must have a pen. Nurses are infamously known for not having writing utensil. Everyone’s 'ike, “I need to take a report does anyone have ' pen?”

Q: What scrubs are you wearing right now and how do they feel?
A: I'm wearing Performance RX by Jockey and I really like where the scrub market is going because I am somebody who enjoys working out, it's part of my life! In trauma sometimes you're literally sprinting. Scrubs that are durable that allow me to do that, that don't allow me to sweat and overheat, they don't constrict my movement, it's very essential for somebody like me.

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