Q & A with fertility nurse Brenda Powers
Brenda Powers, RN, IVF coordinator at UT Health San Antonio, was recently featured in the San Antonio Express-News during Nurses Week. She took some time out of her schedule to discuss her joy of nursing, why she enjoys working at UT Health San Antonio, and a significant highlight in her career.
Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got into the nursing field.
My brother was sick a lot when I was a child, which meant we spent a lot of time in waiting rooms. When I would see the nurses I always thought they were so cool. They had on their white hats, white dresses and white shoes. I remember them giving us M&Ms and thinking, ‘Gosh, I want to be part of this type of hustle and bustle.’ I will say, I only wore a white cap for one year. Thank God we stopped wearing caps after that.
Q: Why did you choose to become a fertility nurse?
By the time women come here they’ve already tried themselves, probably gone to their OBGyn doctor and they’re really kind of desperate when they get here. And so, I have tried to be very kind, supportive and emotional because I know that they wanted their baby … yesterday! I am a very emotional person and I feel their emotion. I once read that being infertile is like having cancer. That’s how they grieve. You know, because you can’t get away from babies–they are everywhere. When you are trying and not succeeding at having a baby, people will usually say, ‘Why don’t you just take a vacation? Why don’t you just relax?’ And that is not the case for everybody. It does take a little bit more than a vacation. That’s what we are here for and I love it.
Q: What is the greatest reward in being a fertility nurse?
Helping someone have a baby. There is no greater joy in the world than to see that positive pregnancy test and then to see that baby. I’m going to start to cry. Sometimes our patients will bring their babies back in. It is just amazing to be a part of that whole miracle.
Q: Can you give me a highlight of your career? A moment that really stands out in your mind.
We take care of cancer patients who are preserving their eggs before they do chemotherapy. We had one young lady who did this. She was a teenager, so sweet, so strong, just amazing. To see her go through cancer and be so upbeat. To be so young and have to go through the procedures that we do here with IVF and shots, ultrasounds … and she was just amazing. She was my hero. I went to go visit her at the hospital when she was doing chemo and she was just as upbeat as ever. She’s doing great now and has her eggs frozen and ready for her when she’s ready to be a mom.
Q: Why did you choose to work at UT Health San Antonio?
I have worked here for 15 years. Hired and re-hired three times since I took some time off to raise my kids. Honestly, I think that we are the best. We are kind, compassionate, and good at what we do. Most importantly, we really care about our patients. It’s not about the money or how many patients we have, it’s really about helping them achieve their goals. Gosh, having a baby, THAT is their goal.