Literacy: from Kindergarten to a Career
Growing up in Joliet, Illinois, following the footsteps of both parents, Marcia Limbach has experienced a life filled with literacy. Her mother worked in labor and delivery as a nurse, while her father worked construction and part time in his father’s taburn. The parents of Marcia hustled to provide her with a life that would be filled with success and a promising future.
When reminiscing the past, Marcia noted that her mother found literacy to be prominent in her work within the medical field, while literacy played a large role in her father’s hobbies. He enjoyed reading news articles, playing classical piano music, and taking photographs; all forms of literacy which he mastered during his lifetime.
“Oh, I remember the first time I got a television — black and white. That showed the first man on the moon.”
Living during a time of active political and social events, Marcia experienced an abundance of change within her time growing up. From the assassination of Kennedy to owning her first computer, she experienced many important stages in the evolution of people and technology. Marcia even recalled her first family owned electronic screen, stating “oh, I remember the first time I got a television — black and white. That showed the first man on the moon”.
“Science was my biggest interest even all through grade school then into high school as well.”
Growing up with her mother in the medical field as a nurse, Marcia had an immediate love for science, stating it “was my biggest interest even all through grade school then into high school as well”. During Marcia’s time in school, her work flow and resources available varied in a wide array. Beginning with elementary, middle, and high school, Marcia found basic sentence structure, poetry, mathematics, novels, and writing about lab work to be prominent topics discussed throughout class. Mostly written by hand with pen and paper, she gained access to typewriters and word processors in her later years of highschool and college. Once deciding to attend nursing school, Marcia found her education to be focused on learning how to do a thesis, and how to read and write research papers. Not until after college did she gain access to her own personal computer.
“I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into…”
After completing nursing school, Marcia was awarded the certifications of: Registered Nurse, Bachelors of Science in Nursing, Certified Emergency Room Nurse, and Certified Critical Care Nurse. “I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into…” was the first statement Marcia had pertaining to whether she enjoys her work or not. She noted that patients now come in more sick than ever. Marica made sure to add that additionally, the hospital is always overcrowded, understaffed, and often a strenuous working environment, making it difficult to provide the best quality of care that she would like to. Even so, she continues to work hard and help others around her, one day at a time.
“Literacy is so important in everything I do with work because with medicine there’s always something new… you have to be able to read really fast and comprehend the literature reviews so that you can implement the care that’s indicated by a study.”
Marcia believes reading and writing act as the main components of nursing. She noted that “literacy is so important in everything I do with work because with medicine there’s always something new… you have to be able to read really fast and comprehend the literature reviews so that you can implement the care that’s indicated by a study. With new drugs and new works flooding out of laboratories around the world, Marica finds that knowing what things are and what they mean are substantial in being a successful nurse. She even finds this true when dealing with critical cases, such as chest pain or heart attacks. There are different protocols in line to successfully treat a patient with severe symptoms, so you have to be able to understand and undergo things at a fast pace. She stated that to be prosperous in the role as a nurse, you have to know the effects of your care on the patient.
To assist with comprehension of the materials presented within the hospital, Marcia often carries a cellphone around to help access definitions of words or diagnoses to refresh their meaning. Although cellular devices can be helpful, computers are the biggest form of technology used within her work. Marcia noted how in the past, they used to use a pen and paper flow sheet system. This would often be problematic due to bad handwriting, and inability to follow what was going on with the patient. Now with the use of computers, Marcia finds that the nurses and other members of the hospital are able to track and understand the care that they are giving to patients in full.
“We could do better with providing more education for nurses in the hospital.”
Growing up, Marcia found her mother and father to be prominent literacy sponsors. Following in her mother’s footsteps, growing up around someone completely immersed in the medical field, Marcia took a quick liking to the content involved in nursing. She also noted that teachers played a large role in literacy sponsorship as she grew up. Elaborating on the teachers she loved most, she noted that they made it fun and enjoyable to learn the material presented.
During her time in nursing school, Marcia was immersed in a setting that contained a variety of literacy sponsors. She received her education while surrounded by sponsors who encouraged her to learn the material in full, and be successful in the field she was looking to go into. Besides teachers, she also had classmates who acted competitive and withholding literacy sponsors. Marcia noted that the medical field is very competitive, and you are constantly fighting your way to the top to make it out with a valuable career to pursue. Being educated on medical literacy in such an ambitious environment, Marcia had to prove her ability of achieving a superior performance in her grades and abilities, compared to her classmates. This pushed her to become even more knowledgeable about the content being studied during her time at school, and to have the will of defeating any obstacles to come in the way of herself and a nursing career.
While working, Marcia is constantly surrounded by others who act as peer resources, but the hospital also provides additional support through nurses who are clinical specialists. They are there as a resource when someone has questions about something they may not understand; they are her present day literacy sponsors. Although this is helpful, Marcia finds that “we could do better with providing more education for nurses in the hospital”. She noted that in order to obtain the proper education to address illnesses that they see in hospitals these days, she often needs to travel to other locations. Marcia stated that this lack of educators withholds the literacy of both her and other nursing staff throughout the hospital. Although this has been an issue for some time now, she mentioned they were beginning to move towards a track of improvement in the education department, and that more education would soon be included in her job in the near future.