ANNA Member Spotlight

Welcome to ANNA's monthly member spotlight. ANNA is a vibrant organization because of nurses like you! Your diverse experiences and unique perspectives make us a collective whole that is a masterpiece. We are proud of all the work each of you do.

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Barbara Odom, BSN, RN, CDN

Acute Hemodialysis Nurse
DCH Regional Medical Center
Northport, AL
ANNA Hazel Taylor Chapter #239

How long have you been in nursing? 

37 years. I graduated with a BSN from Washington State University in 1980.

How long have you been in nephrology?

10 years

Why do you love nephrology?  

Our patients are so incredible. Even though they are the ones dealing with so much pain and discomfort, many end up making my day! I also love the complexity of nephrology nursing, especially the theory and technical aspects of hemodialysis.

What is your favorite ANNA member benefit?

As nephrology nurses, ANNA offers us the opportunity to be on the front line of quality education and research. We are given the tools and mentoring needed to use that information to grow professionally, develop best practice guidelines, and learn how to be a patient advocate at both the local and national levels.

Do you have a favorite patient story?

While giving a bedside dialysis treatment to a patient, I had the opportunity to visit with the family. Some had questions; one daughter especially seemed overwhelmed by it all. I started out with very basic information and gauged how the family and patient were assimilating the information. They began asking more questions, even the one who originally seemed in overload. By the end of the treatment, they understood what I was looking for as signs that the treatment was going well (information on the monitor and on the dialysis machine). We shared the excitement that they were "getting it." When I was done, the daughter who was the most timid about it all, came out to me in the hall. She told me how much it meant to them for me to take the time to share in a way that they could understand. She had just talked with her siblings and father and they all agreed they were less fearful now that they knew why he needed dialysis and how it worked and benefited him. We were both in tears at that time and said our goodbyes with a big hug. He was discharged by the time I worked again and they were from out of town so I may not ever see them again. However, it is moments like this that keep me going when the going gets rough!

What are your favorite hobbies outside of nursing?

Traveling, watching movies, and hanging out with my family.

What’s an interesting fact about you?

As the cartoonist Sandra Boynton's character said in her book, Chocolate, the Consuming Passion, "I like in I like to breathe".