Director of NursesUSBioservices
“When I was in third grade, we had to write a paper about what we wanted to do when we grew up and all I could think of was to be a nurse. Then once I was married, I lost a baby and I was really depressed afterwards. My husband encouraged me to go ahead and pursue nursing, so I started the LVN program that was offered through El Centro but at the time was located at Eastfield.
“I worked as an LVN at Charter Suburban Hospital in Mesquite, which is now Dallas Regional, and then for 16 years for Baylor while I was earning my associate degree in nursing. I was going to school during the weekdays and working weekends then. It certainly was a challenge to balance family, work, studies and clinicals, but I was fortunate to have a strong support system at home.
“I worked in various areas at Baylor and at one time was working three different jobs: on the IV team on weekends, weekdays at Mary Crowley Medical Research Center as a research nurse, and Fridays as case manager for the Medical Director of Infectious Diseases. I was also care coordinator for the medical ICU.
“I’m a huge patient advocate. I will go toe to toe to make sure that every patient understands their disease and treatment options to make their life easier and better and to ensure quality of life. I try to always recognize and respect their wishes. How you present information to patients is so important so that they can ultimately make the best health care choices for themselves.
“I was lucky to have passionate teachers as mentors. Microbiology was my first class back in college when I went to earn my associate degree — Dr. Carl Knight was wonderful. Kiar First and Carlotta Foley, my LVN instructors, were instrumental in giving me guidance in my quest to become a nurse.
“Our instructors had high expectations and saw our potential. They let us know that it wasn’t going to be easy, but it wasn’t going to be insurmountable either.
“What’s great about nursing? There are so many specialties that you can choose from — pediatrics, adults, chart audits, quality control, infection control, ICU, ED, education, travel nursing. You get to follow your own passion and find something that fits what you love.
“In my case, I really didn’t know in third grade that I wanted to be a nurse; I just couldn’t think of anything else. But it’s been a really good fit for me, and I’m a passionate patient advocate. Doctors today expect nurses to be more autonomous than ever before, and I love that. I want to be an advocate for my patients.”
In her current job, Dee Schueler works for a specialty pharmacy in the home care division, providing support for physicians who have given referral for infusion therapy, coordinating home care for patients, and following up with education. She earned both a Vocational Nursing certificate and associate degree in Nursing from El Centro College and holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Texas at Tyler.
Feeling strongly that it’s never too late to learn, Dee continues to push herself both professionally and personally. She has earned specialization credentials in infusion therapy (CRNI), a second-degree black belt in tae kwon do and advanced scuba diving and rescue certification (through Eastfield College).