Pneumonia bout changed course of Young’s life

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 6, 2002

It’s rare that a person would remember a battle with pneumonia as a pleasurable experience. But catching the disease might have been the best thing ever to happen to Barbara Young.

In the early 1990s, Young was working as an electronics technician for the Navy, stationed in London. For one of the only times she can remember, she became ill enough to require hospitalization.

&uot;While I was in the hospital, I saw what the nurses were doing,&uot; recalls the Peru, Mass. native. &uot;I saw how much they were helping people.&uot;

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Upon her recovery, Young decided to change her career path. After she left the Navy in 1994, her husband Ronald was transferred to Charleston, SC. There, Young took a nurses aid course at a community college.

&uot;When I was in the Navy, I’d been working by myself, in dark, cold spaces,&uot; she says. &uot;I discovered that nursing was something that I really liked.&uot;

After the six-month course in Charleston, she spent a year as a nurse’s aid at Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News. But she still wasn’t satisfied. &uot;I felt like I could move to a higher educational level.&uot;

She decided to attend Mary-mount University in Arlington. Young received an Associate’s Degree in 1997 and a Bachelor’s Degree in 1999 (both in nursing).

During this time, her specific desires in medicine began to take focus. &uot;I liked working with children and adults, and I wanted to cover all the age groups.&uot;

After Marymount, Young began her Master’s Degree work at the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) in Richmond. From 1999 to 2002, she also worked in the oncology (cancer) department in the Sentara Lee Hospital in Virginia Beach (earning certification in oncologically nursing in 2001). In her last two semesters at MCV, she performed two pre-septorships at Family Medicine Associates (FMA), P.C. on Hillpoint Boulevard.

&uot;I had done some clinical work at Obici, and the person that I was working for saw that I was good at what I was doing. She told the people at FMA about me, and they arranged to keep me here through the spring of 2002.&uot;

The good news was, FMA kept Young longer than that; the bad news was, her summer vacation was shot. &uot;I finished at the Medical College on May 18; on the 20th, I was here.&uot;

Young is one of two family nurse practitioners at FMA. She assists the facility’s six physicians with diagnosing patients, prescribing medications, and other duties. Though Young normally assists with between 25-35 patients per day, a time of &uot;urgent care&uot; (large emergency) can bring upwards of 60 people to FMA.

&uot;Being fresh out of school has helped Barbara,&uot; says Dr. David Waller, Young’s primary supervisor. &uot;She’s very sympathetic to our patients, and confident in what she does. She’s been building up her own patient base at this facility.&uot;

After nearly a decade of moving up through the medical world, Young has finally reached a point of &uot;stability&uot; in her career. &uot;I want to stay here indefinitely,&uot; she says in her office at FMA. &uot;I’m here for patient care. I don’t think I want to get a Ph.D.; that’s something that I’d only do if I wanted to become an educator in medicine.&uot;

Ronald’s transfers won’t be forcing her and their son Jordan, 3, to move around either. &uot;He’s on the USS Enterprise, but that’s his last set of orders. We’re building a house in Suffolk.&uot;