Our June Nurse of the Month is Chesney Leiferman! An experienced nurse who serves in the Great Plains, Chesney talked to us a bit about her background and her path to providing care on Indigenous lands.
Chesney, what led to you becoming a nurse?
One of my first jobs was being an aide at an assisted living center. I really just enjoyed helping that population and those people – and that led me to nursing.
That job led to nursing school. I really like working with older people. The Elders on the reservation have such interesting stories.
What led you to working with Tribal nations?
I grew up really close to Rosebud – in Winner. Just being able to serve that community and be close to home is nice. I worked in Winner at the hospital. Now I’ve been with Tribal Health almost a year.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I like the pediatrics. The parents are grateful we’re there. Their little ones are in tough spot and it’s an honor to care for them and provide comfort when they’re at their weakest.
Do you ever give advice to other nurses?
Nursing in general can be physically and emotionally taxing so take time for you and take your mind off tough cases. Leave those at work as best you can so you can avoid that burnout.
Speaking of burnout, how do you avoid it?
Being with family, going for walks and runs. My little guy is one and a half and we go outside a lot; we live in the country.
I also read a lot…. Mysteries and whatnot.
Where do you want to go in the future?
I am intrigued by other sites. But for now, with our small family, it’s nice to commute and be close to home.
What’s your advice for other nurses?
It’s nice to have a good team of coworkers, knowing we all chip in and help each other out. If you need help or have a question, you can always ask and they’re willing to help without any judgement.
Thank you, Chesney!