Nursing – It’s All in the Family
You could say that nursing runs in Lori Shope’s blood. With a father and mother committed to nursing careers, Lori knew from a young age she wanted to be in the medical profession. What sealed the deal for her, she says, is the day, as a teenager, she accompanied her dad to the operating room to watch a real-life surgery. She says she knew right then and there that “medicine was in my future.”
After starting out in pre-med at Eastern Michigan University, Lori made the switch to nursing and has never looked back. She points to her parents’ commitment to helping others – whether in their profession or in everyday life – as a motivator to follow in their footsteps.
A lifetime of compassion
A nurse in the U-M Frankel Cardiovascular Center’s Pulmonary Hypertension Program, Lori, 46, describes her parents as, “the most caring people I’ve ever known. They both have always been committed to people. It’s a characteristic I got from both of them. They’ve been great role models and have helped me understand the importance of compassionate patient care.”
Lori’s father, Dan McGraw, 68, worked as an operating room nurse in the U-M health system for 20 years, then moved to the U-M Cancer Center in East Ann Arbor. He currently works at the Livonia Outpatient Surgery Center. Her mother, Melinda Brabant, who passed away in 2000, was a labor and delivery nurse at a Toledo health system.
Collectively, Lori says her parents’ nursing experience spans some 65 years – with many changes in the profession along the way, including the decision-making responsibilities nurses now have as well as various smart technologies that have resulted in things like better communication among healthcare workers and more comprehensive patient monitoring.
Despite the changes, Lori and her dad believe that compassion remains the core component of a good nurse.
More family, more care
As it turns out, nursing not only runs in Lori’s blood, but also in her extended family, including a stepdaughter, stepsister, sister-in-law and her husband’s aunt.
With 20 years of nursing under her own belt, Lori is happy to have played a role in her stepdaughter’s decision to become a psychiatric nurse. And she’s proud of her entire family’s commitment to a profession centered on providing patients with compassionate care.