Working on a dream
When Jerod Dobson was a kid, he dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player. Later, he wanted to be a police officer. But injuries prevented both dreams from becoming reality.
Jerod applied to the Calgary Police Service and was in the process of applying to the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) when a friend accidentally broke Jerod’s arm during an arm wrestling match. Due to the extent of the injury, Jerod ended up missing his interview with the EPS.
It all turned out for the best, though.
Another friend—who hadn’t broken any of Jerod’s limbs—suggested he try nursing. For Jerod, the greatest appeal of working on the police force had always been about helping people. So nursing wasn’t as much of a stretch as it might sound.
Today, Jerod couldn’t be happier that he ended up where he did. He graduated with honours from the Practical Nursing course at the College of the Rockies (COTR) in interior BC. He still lives in the area, and works as a Practical Nurse at Creston Valley Hospital, East Kootenay Regional Hospital, and Swan Valley Lodge, a long-term assisted living facility.
Jerod says what he most enjoys about nursing is the hands-on care he gets to provide. “When we first see a patient, we’ll do a head-to-toe assessment, including listening to a patient’s lungs, heart, and digestive system. We assess sensation and mobility, as well as taking their vital signs,” he says.
Following the assessment, it’s decision time. Jerod relishes this critical thinking part of his job. What is the best treatment option given the patient’s medical history and current medications? It’s a logical thought progression he says, “We need to have intricate knowledge of each drug we give, and in our assessment sometimes we find it’s unsafe to give a particular drug. For example, if somebody has very low blood pressure but they’re supposed to be given a medication to lower blood pressure. It’s our job to decide to withhold that drug.”
Jerod now has more than 1,700 hours of nursing experience and he’s ready to ramp up his career by becoming a Registered Nurse (RN). Jerod says that in BC, “There are more options for work as an RN, such as intensive care units, and more tasks you’re allowed to do.”
While at COTR he began tutoring his peers and discovered he loved teaching. Being able to teach student nurses is one of the roles Jerod is looking forward to once he becomes an RN.
To pursue his RN goal, Jerod is taking courses in the Post-LPN Bachelor of Nursing degree program through Athabasca. He says, “Athabasca University is a fantastic fit for me. I can continue to work, improve at my current job, earn enough money to pay for school, and still be able study on my days off.”
Because Jerod works full-time hours, flexibility is a crucial component of his studies. He values the time when he can ease up on schoolwork when he needs to put more focus into the busy times at work.
Jerod loves being a nurse and at the end of each day, says it’s so great when “you can go home and feel like you’ve done something positive.”