Angel Benson RN Nurse Navigator Black Hills Surgical Hospital
Tell me about yourself. I grew up on a farm in eastern South Dakota, and am the oldest of 6 kids. I graduated high school from DeSmet and college at Huron University, where I played volleyball. I have two children, Skye and Ciara, and I enjoy hiking, biking, golf and cooking for family and friends.
Why did you choose a career in nursing? I have always felt deep empathy for people and had a passion to work as an advocate through all aspects of their healthcare. It’s extremely important to me to help people to the best of my abilities. Nursing is ingrained in my family. My great-grandmother, grandmother, aunt, and mother were all nurses and seeing their drive and ability to help people greatly influenced me.
How long have you been a nurse? 26 years.
What is most rewarding about your job? It is extremely rewarding to witness the journey from patient hurting to healing. I enjoy teaching the total joint class to surgical candidates and experiencing how it benefits their comfort and outcome by knowing what to expect before surgery and recovery. It is rewarding for me to guide people through the surgical experience and to watch their quality of life improve.
What do you find most challenging? Sometimes it is challenging to not be able to do more. It can also be a challenge to identify an individual’s specific health challenges in order to develop a health plan to optimize their health status and surgical outcome.
What skills make a nurse exceptional? An exceptional nurse is empathetic, compassionate, and is an extraordinary listener. They’re able to identify the specific challenges for every patient in order to develop and execute the best individualized treatment plan, and work as an advocate for their patients in every way.
What advice would you give others thinking about becoming a nurse? It is rewarding to use your talents and energy to help people, to be their advocate, and to be their voice so that they can receive exceptional physical and emotional care. A nursing career can be tough, but the reward of helping patients and families during their most vulnerable time is priceless.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a movie star! But seeing my grandmother and mother become such pinnacle influences in people’s lives made me realize that helping people was my passion. My mom would always tell me she named me “Angel” because she knew watching over people would be my calling.
WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ANGEL AND HEAR WHAT HER NOMINATOR HAD TO SAY ABOUT HER? CHECK OUT OUR VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH THEM BY CLICKING BELOW!