A student looks through an instruction manual with a page open to directions on using a defibrillator during an elderly care training program.
A student looks through an instruction manual with a page open to directions on using a defibrillator during an elderly care training program. - 
Listen To The Story

My Economy tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.

For the latest installment in our series, Pam Palme tells her story of going back to school to pursue a career as a nurse anesthetist. 

I am a certified registered nurse anesthetist. In eighth grade, I spent a whole day with an anesthesiologist.

I thought that's what I wanted to do for my whole life. But I have a learning disability and I have dyslexia. 

In high school I did not do very well in science, I had a chemistry teacher who convinced me that I could not do science. I was failing chemistry and he told me that if I promised not to take another science course he would pass me. And so I did that and I decided that science was not for me and so medicine was not for me. 

My husband and I have known each other for a long time, and we were married very young, and we had our first child when I was 21 and he was 23 and so we struggled financially from the very get go. 

I was at home with my kids and needing to have a job. At that time, I started nursing school. 

I was very scared especially when I took my first chemistry class. The professor that was teaching the class knew the high school teacher that I had. 

And I told him the story and he told me, "he actually failed chemistry in college and I knew him back then."

And so that gave me a great deal of hope in my future studies.

You can't gain without taking a risk. If I had not taken the risk I would not have been able to send my daughter to college, and she graduated debt free because we were able to pay for it. You know, life is very good. I cannot ask for anything more. 

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