SCF Nursing Student: Dominique Mendez

Dominique Mendez, a caregiver with Take Care starting November 2010, was one of the first students to be enrolled and successfully punching through the nursing program at State College of Florida. This gives, in Dominique’s own words, a view into her most recent experience in nursing school while honestly describing the challenges in balancing work, family, life, and school.

Contributing Words:

Playing with plastic babies is not as fun as playing with real babies, but still it is a great experience. This is just one of the many sorts of things we have a chance to experience as students in Nursing School! In the Registered Nurse program at State College of Florida, students have practically limitless resources to help enhance their education, including a brand new state-of-the-art facility that includes a life-like learning and simulation lab, which rivals most Florida state universities. To begin our Obstetrics and Pediatric module, as students, we  learned the basics of handling and caring for newborns in the learning lab before actively practicing in our clinical rotations at various Sarasota and Manatee County hospitals.

Photo Credit: Dominique Mendez

My name is Dominique Mendez and I am in my second semester of the two-year Registered Nurse program at SCF. It is stressful, fun, challenging, and most importantly, rewarding. In order to afford nursing school I had to keep a full-time job.  Many students cannot afford to go to school without working part or full time. It adds an additional element to the day-to-day challenges. Managing life while attending school and work and taking care of yourself and a family is a recipe for chaos.

Most luckily for me, five months ago, among the madness that was my first semester, I was recruited to Take Care by a family friend. Then life became a tad less stressful. Working for Take Care afforded me a certain benefit I could not find at my previous employment: the ability and ease of scheduling flexibility. Working with Take Care’s amazing scheduling staff I am able to tweak my schedule based on my school schedule and homework/study load week to week. Even beyond those important overall factors,  the experience I am gathering has proved invaluable in the classroom and clinical setting.

Being a full-time employee and full-time student leaves very little time for fun. Finding a balance was critical to stay sane, but it was not easy. It took several months to fall into a rhythm in which all aspects of my life were getting its deserved attention. Organization has been paramount. Luckily for me, I have a wonderful support system of family and friends, and a very patient husband. I count my blessings daily and know that not all students have it so easy.

If I can offer any advice for anyone toying with the idea of returning to school, it has to be this: Learn not to stress the little things. Find an outlet or hobby for your stress and aggravation that does not include tormenting your loved one. Keep the end reward in sight—it will come in time!

For more information on becoming a caregiver with Take Care, click here.

To submit your story and experience, in your own words, email:

Take Care‘s owner and CEO, Susanne S. Wise, RN, MBA is a supporter of continued education and this message is reiterated to every Take Care employee, even on day one during new hire orientation.

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