For a nurse, empathy is a given part of their tool kit. To bring personal knowledge and experience to patients every day takes that kit to a whole new level.
Cassie Moffitt was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 17 months old. Her experiences have helped shape the nurse she is today, working as an educator with Seton’s Dell Children’s Medical Center in partnership with the Austin Independent School District’s Student Health Services department. Dell Children’s is part of Ascension, the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system.
“Cassie is a certified diabetes educator, and we are always tapping into her expertise and her compassion for diabetes,” says Sally Freeman, Nursing Director with the program. “She goes out into schools and helps to educate some of the school staff so they can help their students.”
“I remember being 4 years old and saying that I was going to be a nurse and help kids like me, and I was going to cure diabetes. I always say I have half of it done,” Moffitt says. “My grandmother was a psychiatric nurse and I would hear the stories she would come home with every day. I thought it would be cool to do. I wanted to be a front-line person providing more direct care.”
That direct care, whether it is in the classroom or at camp, working with children dealing with diabetes, has left a lasting, positive impact on not only the kids and their families, but also on Moffitt.
“I remember my mom had a really hard time teaching me because she was so afraid of having to do this stuff to her only child, and diabetes camp changed my life,” Moffitt says. “I went to my first camp when I was 10, and I learned so much there about my disease and self-care. It opened so many doors, and getting to come back to camps was such a source of pride.”
She gets the same sense of pride when she is in her workplace, having been with Seton for most of her nursing career. “I feel like I have grown personally and professionally here. I have learned to do things I never thought I could do. Part of Seton’s mission is to help the poor. As a child growing up, no insurance, a single mom, and seeing my mom spending most of what she made one me, it is really important for me to get to help others like that.”