Clara Jones (AKA Nurse Clara) is a gynecology nurse practitioner based in Atlanta, who uses her online presence to share her personal and professional with fellow healthcare workers and the public. We talked to her about how she found a career in gynecology and why diverse representation in healthcare matters.
Was nursing something you always wanted to pursue? What inspired you to go into gynecology?
I always knew that I wanted to make a difference, in the same way that the nurses took care of my mom throughout her fertility journey made a difference. I didn’t realize nursing was the path for me until I was a lost freshman in college and I had a conversation with a friend’s aunt. I was empowered by the flexibility of a career in nursing, and the ability to grow horizontally and vertically was something that was very interesting to me.
What would you say is the most important trait to have as a nurse in gynecology?
Having compassion for others is the most important trait for any nurse, but specifically in gynecology or reproductive health. No matter how difficult a shift is, or how short-staffed work can be, providing patients with the care that they deserve to the best of our abilities will make a difference, especially as our patient population is seeking care in very intimate and vulnerable parts of their health journey. The patients that I’ve met and their stories will always have an impact on me, and I hope the compassion and care I’ve provided them have had an impact on them.
Why do you think a diverse healthcare team is able to provide better outcomes for patients?
I truly believe representation and diversification saves lives. The world of healthcare and its entities do not exist in black and white, and therefore the specific nuances of disease processes and how they present differently needs special attention. Every patient cannot be truly treated equally — each patient needs to be seen in their own specific light, with their race, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status in mind.
Proper representation also speaks to how patients feel safe and trusting with the people taking care of them. When patients trust their providers, the likelihood of adhering to a care plan and improving their overall health increases.
When people come across your social media, what do you hope they take away from your story of becoming a nurse?
I hope people realize that becoming a nurse is not a one-size-fits-all journey, and that being a nurse and nurse practitioner is the end goal. This is my evolution as a fluid human being, and a part of my identity is what I feel passionate about and feel is my vocation.
However, my entire being is not encompassed in a job title, because I am more. I hope that what others can see from my social media is that my life is enriched by my career, but that I am more than who I am at work.