Katie Gordon Saenz

Year of graduation from Mount Carmel College of Nursing: 2008, Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Other degrees/ credentials: Not yet, but my goal is to become a midwife, which will require a Master of Science in Nursing.

Professional Highlights: Right after graduation nine years ago, I took a job at Memorial Medical Center in the tiny town of Port Lavaca, Texas, near the Gulf of Mexico. I knew I wanted to be an L&D Nurse, but it’s difficult for new graduates to start there, so I worked with a recruiter to find the right place. My plan was to complete a one-year contract and return to Ohio for my career. However, the best part of Texas is that it’s where I met my husband, so I decided to stay and have worked in L&D at Detar Women and Children’s Center in Victoria, Texas, for the past seven years. We now have two little girls; our oldest is three and was born by C-section, and our youngest is 11 weeks, born by VBAC (vaginal birth after C-section). I feel so privileged to have personally experienced both types of birth, as I feel it helps me be a stronger L&D nurse for my patients.

What is your hometown and where do you currently live? I grew up in Westerville, Ohio, and have lived in Victoria, Texas, for nine years.

When did you first feel the call to be a nurse? From the time I was very young I’ve always loved babies and birth. My parents were foster parents who adopted my twin sister and me. There were always lots of babies around and my older siblings have tons of babies, so it was the perfect environment for someone with a calling to be a midwife one day.

What television shows do you have to DVR every week? PBS’s “Call the Midwife,” of course!

What is your favorite memory of Mount Carmel? I have two. My first is that I worked really hard and practically begged to get one of the two spots available on the L&D rotation. I’ll never forget the first birth I observed because I was so excited to be there and learning about what was the start of a great passion for me. My second is about how nurtured and cared for I felt by members of the staff and faculty. I’ll never forget how Mrs. Kathy Espy’s door was always open and how hard she worked to help me get scholarships; Dr. Shirley Cooley was such a great encourager and a role model – she really got me ready for the wide world of nursing. I’ll always be very grateful to them both.

What book is currently on your nightstand (or at the top of your Kindle favorites)? Outlander.

How has your Mount Carmel network helped you in your life, personally or professionally or both? This is really amazing, but my networking with alumni started while I was still at the College. My brother’s mother-in-law, Joan “Josie” Glaub Moro was a September 1947 graduate of Mount Carmel School of Nursing. She worked more than 30 years in the OR and in L&D at Mount Carmel before she passed at age 88 in 2015. She was the first person who mentioned Mount Carmel to me and we often chatted about her days at “The Mount.” Of course, she encouraged me to attend and she even came to my pinning ceremony.

What advice would you like to share with other nurses as they move from student to alumni of Mount Carmel? Never stop learning: Don’t get too comfortable and always strive to learn more so that you can be a better nurse for your patients. Have an open mind and be kind to new nurses – we were all new at one time.

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