Empowering Staff, Families and Patients Through Education
Carolain Paredes, BSN, RN, CRRN, Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program nurse educator, shares her passion for helping people through her job and injury prevention efforts.
Q: How long have you worked at Shepherd Center?
I have worked at Shepherd Center for nearly nine years.
Q: How does your role contribute to the hospital’s mission to serve patients and families?
I provide caregiver and staff education for the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program therapy teams at Shepherd Center. Nurse educators teach staff new processes or changes in best practices that empower them to provide evidence-based practice services to our patients. We also provide some one-to-one education to families on caring for their loved ones when they go home as needed.
Q: What is the most fulfilling part of your job?
I love helping people. It’s what drew me to being a nurse in the first place. The way I see it, since I transitioned from being a nurse to a nurse educator, I participate in caring for the patients and families by providing education to the staff members who are directly involved with them. I share my knowledge, and if I don’t know something, I look it up or find the resources needed to answer the questions staff may have.
Q: How did you get involved with the Injury Prevention Program at Shepherd Center?
One of my goals is to educate the community by going to schools and events to share what I know and, hopefully, make people aware of what brain and spinal cord injuries are, how to care for them and, of course, how to prevent them. This led me to connect with our Injury Prevention Program to do more of this type of community outreach.
So far, I have participated in several online presentations for organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Students Against Destructive Decisions. I also had the opportunity to help with car seat safety inspections for staff, patients and families. I look forward to continuing this kind of work.
Q: What is the most rewarding part about volunteering your time to injury prevention efforts?
As much as I love our patients and families, I hope that by devoting some time to providing education, I can prevent at least one brain or spinal cord injury. That hope is what makes these efforts so gratifying.
- Carolain is working on a master’s degree as a clinical nurse specialist at South Alabama University.
- She has been a Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse (CRRN) for the past four years.
- She is Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) certified and a Basic Life Support (BLS) instructor.
- Carolain dances and performs Peruvian folkloric dances in festivals and events.
- She loves spending time with her family and dog, Sasha.
- Carolain is married to her high school sweetheart.
Interview by Damjana Alverson
Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 740 inpatients, nearly 280 day program patients and more than 7,100 outpatients each year in more than 46,000 visits.