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 Sandy Miholics, RN, CNNe

ANNA Garden State #125

How long have you been in nursing?

I have been in nursing for 51 years.

How long have you been in nephrology?

I started my nephrology career in 1967 and have been an ANNA member since 1969, with a brief time off to raise my son. I retired in 2014, so I actively practiced in nephrology for 47 years!

Why do you love nephrology?  

I love nephrology because it allows nurses to use all their nursing practices and take a holistic approach. As a nephrology nurse, I used my technical knowledge and skills, was a psychosocial advocate, an educator to patients, families, and professionals, and a clinician who had to know and apply physiologic principles in my practice. Nephology offered me multiple roles – staff nurse, educator, research coordinator, manager, and independent consultant.

What is your favorite ANNA member benefit?

I think in addition to the publications, educational opportunities such as grants, scholarships, and continuing education, ANNA offers something you can’t put a price on – networking and camaraderie.

What I love about ANNA is its longevity, the opportunities it provided me in my personal as well as professional development, and the opportunity to be creative with my ideas.

Do you have a favorite patient story?

In 1967 I had a patient, who could not control his weight (even with help from his lovely wife). I frequently reviewed his diet as it pertained to potassium and fluid intake but saw nothing that would suggest the abnormal values we were seeing. In a casual conversation, he mentioned that he would go to the local auction every weekend and buy a bushel of oranges and eat them all! And that’s when I realized his problem. I asked him “What happens when you squeeze an orange?” He replied, “You get orange juice.” That’s when the light bulb went on. After eating all those oranges, he may as well have been drinking the fluids – thus, the answer to his elevated potassium. After this realization, he was compliant with his fluid intake. On another note, he happened to be one of the first home dialysis patients we had in our country!

What are your favorite hobbies outside of nursing?

I love gardening and being creative with home decorations!

Share an interesting fact about yourself.

I am more serious than I appear to be.