One of the major roles a nurse plays is that of a patient advocate. So, it makes sense that Bria Sharp decided to become a nurse after spending her childhood learning to manage her own chronic health condition – sickle cell disease (SCD).
“I always knew I wanted to go into health care after my early experiences with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. They were my primary providers for my first 18 years and provided a great model for me to follow,” she said. “Not only did they provide excellent care, but they also taught me about my disease and how to manage it.” These experiences are what led to Bria developing her desire to pursue nursing.
SCD is a group of blood disorders that prevent the normal flow of blood in the body because of the effect on the hemoglobin in red blood cells. St. Jude has been researching and treating SCD since the hospital opened in 1962. SCD is the most common inherited blood disorder in the U.S., affecting about 100,000 Americans. Symptoms include pain crises, difficulty breathing, and high fevers.
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