Career switch leads to meaningful work for ND nurse

LPN Amanda Boock finds her calling in taking care of others

Sanford Health nurse Amanda Boock headshot

Amanda Boock, LPN, didn’t always want to be a nurse.

“My junior year of high school, my mom looked at me and said, ‘I think you should go into nursing.’ And I told her she was crazy,” Boock said.

She knew she wanted to take care of other people, but when she thought of nursing, her mind went to emergency rooms and other unpleasant settings — situations she didn’t think she could stomach.

Mom was right

It wasn’t until three years into her receptionist job for a clinic in Bemidji, Minnesota, that Boock realized her mom had been right.

“During that time is when I really realized that I wanted to do more than just answer phone calls all day long and just do appointment booking,” she said. “I wanted to be more involved with their care.”

She felt inspired by stories from nurses she worked with as well as stories she heard from her aunt, who worked as a nurse for Mayo Clinic.

“Her stories were phenomenal to me and I just thought, ‘Oh my goodness, to make such a difference in people’s lives — that must be remarkable.’”

So Boock went back to school to become a nurse. “I had met many great nurses and they all inspired me to go back and pursue nursing.”

From desk job to nursing career

Once her decision was made, Boock immersed herself in the world of nursing.

“I started out by obtaining my CNA license and working in the Alzheimer’s unit,” she said. “I worked the floor as a CNA and then as a medical aide during my schooling.”

Her time in the Alzheimer’s unit left a lasting impact. “I found my passion and calling during that period knowing that I finally figured it out.”

Her love of geriatrics led her to her current job as a nurse in internal medicine for Sanford Health in Valley City, North Dakota. There, she spends most days helping patients with chronic diseases, diabetes and other illnesses.

Through her time as a nurse, she’s learned that listening is key to understanding and treating patients.

“The biggest lesson has just been to always listen to your patients,” she said. “Sometimes, they may go on and on and on about something, and we’re just not getting to the root of why they’re coming in all the time and not to blow them off.”

Boock gives these patients her full attention. Small details can make big differences in patients’ lives.

“There’s just been several instances where we just maybe overlooked something or maybe I didn’t ask the right question or they weren’t ready to divulge information,” Boock said.

She focuses on building relationships and trust with her patients so that she can provide better care.

“When you start working with a practice, you don’t know them very well. As time goes on, you just build that relationship with them and they start feeling more comfortable to talk to you and tell you things that maybe they wouldn’t otherwise, if they didn’t know you very well.”

Years after her career switch, she’s certain she made the right choice.

“I love geriatrics so much and am so happy I can work with internal medicine here at the Valley City clinic.”

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Posted In Bemidji, Fargo, Internal Medicine, Nursing and Nursing Support, People & Culture, Sanford Stories

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