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Ivy Blog

Staff Spotlight: Terra Ybarra

Terra Ybarra

Job Title: Research Nurse Clinician
Hometown: Scottsdale, Arizona

What motivated you to get into the medical field, specifically neuro research?

I was inspired to become a nurse like my mom who has been in nursing for 40 years. My interest in neuro was sparked in nursing school when I saw an induced seizure and was so fascinated by the process and watching the brainwaves of the patient. I went on to work in that neurology unit after I became an RN and worked my way into the neuro ICU for many years. Neuro research is a next step in my nursing career where I can impact patients in a new way.

What is your favorite part about your job?

As a nurse, my favorite part of the job is critically thinking and working through complex tasks and problems that ultimately contribute to patient care, patient experience, or the advancement of knowledge.

Have you ever been personally impacted by brain cancer?

My sister’s husband was, sadly, taken by a glioblastoma at the age of 33 and I don’t want to see that happen to anyone else.

How do you keep a patient’s (and their caregiver’s) spirit alive during such an emotional, life-threatening time?

It’s important to maintain a positive attitude and focus on the things you can control like the quality of time you spend doing things you enjoy and with those you love.

What keeps you motivated when dealing with such a complex disease?

There are currently limited treatment options for this patient population and I am motivated to be a part of expanding the knowledge and treatment options that can help future patients suffering this devastating disease.

The Author

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