You do not have to be caring for a child with disabilities or complex needs — or be a caregiver for that matter — to learn something from this episode that you can apply to your own life. Pediatric critical care nurse Colleen Breen is one of those people who approaches everything in her life, including the very ill children she’s cared for over the past 41 years, with openness, curiosity, creativity, and hope. She is eager to learn something from every person she meets: no matter how big or how small; whether beginning life or transitioning from it; from the sick and the suffering and those filled with life. She is a strong advocate for the patients she has treated over the years and their families, and there's no doubt she’s left an indelible mark on every single one of their lives.
Colleen joins Brenda for a conversation about finding joy and meaning in such challenging work. She also shares what it takes to enjoy the most meaningful “career” instead of settling for the comfortable mediocrity of just "doing your job." While she may have recently left pediatric intensive care after 41 years, she’s nowhere near finished. She is spreading her wisdom through teaching and is now inspiring future nurses to open their minds and their hearts to use a whole lot of imagination, common sense, and endless compassion to treat all patients with dignity and love. Colleen continues to support others by creating memories and support as an end of life doula for children who are living with dying and their families.