A personal experience leads to a lifelong nursing career

“He wants the best for his patients, and that’s what they get from Dave.”

Sanford Health nurse Dave Knudson

When a patient comes in for urology care, just based on the nature of the conditions urology treats, they’re not thrilled to be there. But in Bismarck, North Dakota, one nurse is known to consistently bring a smile of relief to patients: Dave Knudson.

Knudson has been a nurse for 40 years, and at Sanford Health for the past five. He works in a urology clinic where they see patients for issues with the urinary system, kidneys, bladder and genitals.

“When patients come into the urology clinic, they already know Dave by name, either word of mouth from friends or family who have been here before or from the community,” says Brittany Bratsch, a nursing supervisor at the clinic Knudson works at. “Being a urology nurse is a delicate and intimate position, one that takes a special person. Patients who are in Dave’s care feel safe, comforted, educated, and feel like they had a great experience here because of him.”

Knudson started his nursing career in oncology and intensive care unit, before working as a urology surgical assistant for 20 years, and as a registered nurse with urology specialist Dr. Nadim Koleilat for the past 15 years. He chose his urology specialty for a very personal reason.

“My Uncle Lowell died of prostate cancer — it was awful and made us all feel helpless,” Knudson says. “Men should not be dying of prostate cancer. And I really felt I was meant to be helping men with this very stressful and scary issue.”

Passion for patients and co-workers

Knudson is passionate about providing exceptional care to patients, and fostering that same passion in his co-workers.

“Dave is a great educator. He takes time to teach procedures and best practices to staff — he has so much knowledge and so many skills to share,” Bratsch says. “I remember being a student myself, listening to Dave educate our class on urological issues, policies, and processes. I’ll never forget how wonderful he was at demonstrating and answering questions. We were all so engaged and eager to learn from him as he shared his experience with us.”

Knudson is board certified in urology nursing and is involved with national urology professional and support groups.

“I have worked and continue to work with some amazing nurses, nurse aids and physicians,” says Knudson. These co-workers, as well as the people he has met through his national urology group involvement, “have inspired me to continue and feel good about where I am.”

That dedication shows.

“He cares about his patients, and we get so many compliments from everyone he works with about how caring, kind and knowledgeable he is,” Bratsch says. “He wants the best for his patients, and that’s what they get from Dave.”

Posted In Cancer, Digestive Health, Faces of Sanford Health, Health Care Heroes, Health Information

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