Women Supporting Women, Featuring Bridget McMahon
"I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass."
Having a gang you can count on in life is crucial. The support from that person or group can make even the hardest situations better. They're with you to celebrate the highs and pick you up during the lows. They'll laugh with you when times are good and console you when they're less than awesome. They'll kick you in the butt when you need it and tell you that you've done your best when you have.
In 2016, Bridget was accepted into the Saint Xavier University School of Nursing Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program after having graduated from Loyola University (and you'll often hear her say "Go Blers!"). This rigorous program, which with one misstep would mean your departure from the program, developed Bridget into a whole new confident and independent lady. I could go on, but I'll stop myself so I don't embarrass her.
Bridget successfully completed the program and has spent the last year and a half as an RN at Christ Hospital. And, you remember that whole COVID thing we've been going through? Yeah, she got thrown into that as a fresh RN. She's had to learn some tough and quick lessons, but no one ever doubted her ability to persevere. It's been fascinating to hear her stories of strength and ethics when we might find it hard to provide care for people that caused so much pain and harm to others. Her dedication to her role in the healthcare industry is not one that's surprising, but reassuring and one that we need at a time when the world sometimes seems like it's in shambles.
Aside from her brains, Bridget has an amazing support system. I say amazing, because she's my cousin and I'm throwing myself in that support system. Really though, she's surrounded herself with driven and smart friends, family that has her back, and a pup that thinks she's the greatest. You don't get where you are alone. She's done it all and put in all of the hard work, but she always knew she could count on her gang when things got tough.
Today, her work gang is part of what she loves most about being a nurse. These amazing people make bad nights better. They're the best people to work with and help Bridget be the best she can be too. Any chance to have fun and laugh, they do. With such serious careers, you can't blame them!
I had a couple of questions for Bridget, and here's what she had to say.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
I've only been a nurse for a year and a half now and the hardest part of my job changes every day. Each day I come to work there is something new to deal with. One day it may be consoling a patient who received some bad news, or a patient's condition is declining and I need to call a doctor early in the morning. It is challenging knowing every shift is different and every day will have its own challenges, but at the same time, it is one of the reasons why I love being a nurse.
What is the most fulfilling part of your job?
There are many fulfilling parts of being a nurse, but for me I always enjoy when I get to put a smile on a patient's face. I like when I can make a patient feel like they are not at the hospital for a moment. Whether it means saying a really corny joke or printing out a sign for a patient's 90th birthday, it's about the small things to make a patient feel better.
If you could tell your 18 year old self something, what would it be?
At 18, I never thought I would become a nurse. I would tell myself not to expect school or my future to go exactly as planned. Nursing wasn't my first career choice. I would tell myself to keep an open mind and roll with the punches.
Bridget, thank you for all of your work to keep the community safe and healthy, even in such crazy and dangerous times. Your dedication to your role in the health care industry is so appreciated! Thank you for making a difference!
Do you have a woman you'd like to nominate for a feature? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay safe and healthy,