30 Days of PH: Working in Research as a Nurse to Find a Cure for PH
Day 22 of 30
This is Jordin Rice’s story:
For nearly four years, I have been working as a nurse in different areas related to pulmonary hypertension (PH). I have coordinated early-stage clinical trials and worked with patients, educating them about new medications and beyond.
Many times, when we are treating patients, it feels like the disease has a mind of its own. I have met a lot of people struggling with this incredibly rare disease, and while most people think that would be lonely, I have witnessed a huge community of patients, caregivers, and providers focused on not letting the disease control their lives. This experience alone has drawn me to continue working with PH patients daily.
I went into nursing quite simply to have a meaningful career where I could make a difference. I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go in when I first started, but I was immediately drawn to the PH patients.
Many, but not all, are young females struck with this sudden chronic diagnosis. Often, these patients have young kids, jobs, and families that rely on them, all while they’re battling this rare, incurable disease. They navigate a hard diagnosis, testing, insurance issues, high costs of medications, and many days where moving forward seems impossible — yet they keep fighting. Living with a chronic and invisible disease can be extremely challenging, but my patients give me hope.
Although I’m still early in my nursing career, I have learned so much from these strong individuals, and it has driven me to pursue research into pulmonary hypertension. My goal is to help these patients be seen, heard, and understood through the unimaginable difficulty of coping with PH.
Working in research is also where I find the most hope. There are countless bright minds working to ensure that patients have more options and education moving forward, potentially with more powerful treatments. Nurses tend to understand what a patient goes through, as we’re often a patient’s lifeline during every stage of the disease. That is why I think more nurses should pursue research to seek solutions to the problems they see.
I am so honored to be a nurse to the patients that rely on me, and I’m lucky to have met so many amazing people along the way.
Pulmonary Hypertension News’ 30 Days of PH campaign will publish one story per day for PH Awareness Month in November. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #30DaysofPH, or read the full series.