10 Questions with Pam Davis

As Director of Communications for the OAC, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some amazing people. In 2006, in the early-days of the OAC, I had the opportunity to meet Pam Davis. Well, I met her via email. She had just joined the OAC and wanted to get more involved. In preparation for this blog post, I went back and looked for the first email I ever received from Pam. As soon as Outlook loaded it, I saw “Pam.” The email was written in a pretty purple French Script font. I was so used to the typical “arial,” but this was far from it. She started off with, “Thank you for the warm welcome.” After one email, I could sense something from Pam. I could sense that she wanted to do more. Her heart was in the right place, and she wanted to make a real difference in obesity.

Well, eight years later and a little more than 2,000 emails exchanged, Pam Davis has made that difference and continues to do so. Here are just a few of the highlights:

      • Pam is the Immediate-past Chairman of the OAC
      • Serves on numerous OAC Committees
      • Writes for Your Weight Matters Magazine
      • Contributes to the OAC Blog
      • Represents the OAC’s advocacy efforts on the state and federal level
      • And more!

As you can see, Pam has made quite an impact. Today, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Pam Davis and interviewing her as we recognize Certified Nurses Day. Pam is a Certified Bariatric Nurse with more than 20 years experience. Her knowledge of bariatrics and compassion for patients is truly paramount. I hope you enjoy this blog post as much as I enjoyed writing it with my friend, Pam Davis.

You are a certified nurse. What are you certified in?

I am a Certified Bariatric Nurse. Bariatrics is a specialty area caring for those affected by severe obesity and specifically those undergoing metabolic and bariatric (weight-loss) surgery.

What made you decide to want to be a certified nurse?

I’ve always sought certification in the specialty areas where I’ve worked. As a nurse for more than 20 years, I’ve previously held certifications as a Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN) and as a Certified Case Manager (CCM). I believe it serves to show your commitment and dedication to the special population you’re serving and it also provides a special camaraderie with other nurses who hold the same certification.

What is the best part of being a certified nurse?

The sense of accomplishment that you’ve achieved a higher level of knowledge and expertise to assist you in providing care and assistance to your patients is one of the best parts of obtaining certification.

What is the difference between a nurse and a certified nurse?

I’m a Certified Bariatric Nurse (CBN), which is an RN who holds a certificate from ASMBS’ Certified Bariatric Nurse program indicating achievement of the specialized skills and knowledge required for the delivery of quality patient care for those with severe obesity and bariatric surgery patients. CBNs must be a RN, have two years of experience in caring for those with severe obesity and bariatric surgery patients and pass the CBN examination.

How has being a certified nurse made you think differently about your health?

The human body is a complex organism capable of both utterly amazing and sometimes horribly tragic events. As a nurse, throughout nursing school, you gain a broad understanding of how to maximize the amazing and minimize the tragic; unfortunately though, our personal choices alone do not dictate our health. It is our job as individuals to do what we can to give our bodies every opportunity to be extraordinary.

You are the Immediate-Past Chairman of the OAC. How did being a healthcare professional impact your role as Chairman?

On a personal level, being a nurse and knowing first hand the profound effects obesity can have on an individual not only on the physiological level, but also on the personal and emotional level, my goal was to bring both the professional and personal face of those affected by obesity to the forefront of discussion, understanding and acceptance.

What is the most important quality that a nurse must have?

There are two-passion and compassion.

If someone wanted to become a certified nurse today, what would you tell them?  

Focus on the area that fascinates you. Learn everything you can about it – what you don’t know, volunteer to teach, because then you will learn it on a whole new level. To be the teacher, you must be a willing and participatory student. Challenge yourself, challenge others, volunteer, listen to and learn from every patient.

If you weren’t a certified nurse, what other career choice would you have chosen?

All through elementary and high school I wanted to be a teacher. I believe that’s why today, my favorite aspect of nursing is the teaching component. I love seeing the virtual light bulb go off over people’s heads when you explain something so they understand it.

Looking forward, what goals have you set for yourself in your career?

I’m working on obtaining my MBA and will [hopefully] be finished in November. I plan to use that knowledge to take our bariatric program to the next level. To be able to educate even more people on both the clinical necessity of the specialty of bariatrics and to also to educate employers and insurers on why it’s crucial to provide this most basic and life-saving care to everyone who wants treatment.

Thank you for your time today, Pam. 

Thank Pam for her service as a healthcare professional!

Today, we celebrate Certified Nurses Day, and we celebrate people like Pam Davis who’ve made a real difference in the lives of those affected by the disease of obesity. If you’d like to send a message to Pam thanking her for her service as a healthcare professional or if you have a question for Pam, please do so in the below “Comment” section.

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