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Woodridge Hospital Nursing Story - Kelly Booher, RN

Woodridge - Kelly Booher
Kelly Booher

Kelly says she has always liked the healthcare field, since both of her parents worked in healthcare, and she volunteered as a Candy Striper in high school. When I found myself with three children and needing a career, I chose nursing. While Kelly was completing her associate degree in nursing from Walters State, she worked at the day care center that her children attended. She also served as a children’s reading tutor while in nursing school. Kelly has begun taking courses to complete her RN-to-BSN training as well. All of these unique experiences prepared Kelly to take a position at Woodridge Psychiatric Hospital, working on the Child and Adolescent unit with young folks ages 5 to 17 years old.

Kelly notes that having a child stay at Woodridge is very difficult for the parents, the child and their family. A visit can range from 5 to 10 days, with an average stay of 7 days. Kelly goes on to explain:

“Children are VERY QUICK to observe how I appear, what my attitude is, and how I act and react with them. I am very conscious to keep my own attitude and visible actions and reactions happy and bright. I really like to talk with and interact with my patients. This is one thing that really drew me to this role, because initially, I wasn’t sure that I could work with kids who are sick. I am so lucky – I can actually pause in my work to play a game with my patients!

There have been times when I’ve known the parents of my patient; that seemed to help the child when they saw that their parents knew me. I think the hardest part of my job is helping my young patients understand what is happening with them, and what will happen with them after they leave this unit.”

Kelly shares that some of their young patients keep in touch after they’re better. One of her most encouraging stories is about a teenager who was dealing with her boyfriend’s deployment to Iraq. She was really in distress and wanted very much to get better and worked very hard to recover. With the staff’s encouragement, this young former patient finished her high school education and pursued a modeling career. She just recently sent a two-page letter to say thanks for helping me, and she enclosed some of her modeling photos!