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. If you would like to be featured, try using our online community, ANNA Connected. Members are featured in the Member Spotlight based on their engagement in ANNA Connected, so start connecting, talking, and getting to know other ANNA members via ANNA Connected. Gail Dewald, BS, RN, CNN San Antonio, TX ANNA Alamo City Chapter #205 How long have you been in nephrology? 32 years Why do you love nephrology? Nephrology has been my passion since 1985 when I was hired and trained to be a hemodialysis staff nurse in a hospital-based outpatient dialysis center. Previously, I had spent 9 years as a pulmonary nurse and needed a change. What I found out about nephrology nursing in the chronic dialysis setting was that you aren’t successful without building a relationship with patients. You see them at least 12 hours a week so it is a “no brainer.” Building relationships with them allows you to gain their trust. Some even start listening to you (and that makes a big difference). I embrace being that teacher, coach, and mentor! What is your favorite ANNA member benefit and/or what do you love about being a member of ANNA? I joined ANNA in the late ‘80s after attending a few of the local meetings. I am so thankful that my work through ANNA and my day-to-day job give me that chance to share what I have learned and make a difference for nephrology nurses and patients. I also push myself for continuous learning. I stay active in ANNA, other nephrology organizations, and patient organizations. Through my mentors and friends, I have gained so much knowledge and career satisfaction. ANNA has been an essential part of my career path. Do you have a favorite patient story that reminds you why it's all worth it? I recall a patient “Robert” who was new to dialysis and showed up for his first treatment. The fear in his face was immense. I was the manager of the clinic but made sure that I was always the first one to greet (and cannulate) the new patients. He did fine on that first treatment and was fairly happy until one day when another patient got a transplant before him. He was SO angry; he felt betrayed that he wasn’t first in line. His blood pressure was sky high. His anger lasted for weeks as we worked with him and his wife. Within the next 6 months he “got the call.” Weeks later he came back to visit and said, “Gail, you were right. I waited and I received a perfect match kidney, just like you thought I would. I am so ashamed that I was so ugly to you and the staff. Thank you for putting up with me.” I thought: “This job just doesn’t get better than this!” What are your favorite hobbies and/or pastimes outside of nursing? I love to travel and meet new people, cooking and entertaining, photography, and holidays with ALL the grandchildren! I also love the support and mentoring I get from all my best friends - each one an ANNA member!