One of first nurses featured in magazine reflects on career

(Nurse.com) As Nurse.com (Nursing Spectrum) celebrates its 25th anniversary, we checked in with a nurse who was featured in one of the early issues of the magazine.

Lisa Sayegh, RN, BSN, LMT, was featured on the cover of the fourth issue of the D.C./Baltimore Metro edition on Feb. 18, 1991.

She was pictured obtaining a patient history in the atrium at National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, D.C.
She now is a nurse massage therapist who owns her own business in Bethesda, Md.

Nurse.com: What memories do you have of being in the magazine?

Lisa Sayegh: The memory of being in Nursing Spectrum was a feeling of being truly honored for the opportunity. When I was approached to appear on the cover in 1991, I had been a nurse with NRH — and one of their first on-board — for more than five years, so the added recognition and the prospect of representing nursing for the magazine definitely helped to reboot my passion and dedication for the career path I chose and the work I was doing.

N: Please describe your career progression as an RN.

LS: In 1992, while still working at NRH, I received a call from a headhunter regarding an opportunity to work as a clinical research associate for Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals. Though so proud of the mark I made at NRH, I was ready to embrace the role of a CRA. Over the course of three years, I advanced into a senior CRA capacity and later into a project management role at which point I found myself at another crossroad. The focus being more on data collection and less on the human connection prompted me to reconsider the next step. Flashbacks to nursing and my collaborative work with the physical therapists in rehab started to steer me into considering a shift of career into either physical or massage therapy, as I personally witnessed (and really believed in) the power of manual therapy.

After much soul searching, I opted for the latter as it was more complementary to my nursing background. In 1996, I enrolled in a part-time program at the Baltimore School of Massage and received licensure in therapeutic massage and bodywork in 1998. Upon completing the program, I combined my rehabilitation nursing and massage background under one roof while working in a private sports-medicine practice. Eventually (and very thankfully), by 2005 I was ready to confidently branch off into private practice as a nurse massage therapist.


N: Why did you become a nurse?

LS: I became a nurse because of my personal gratification in caring for others, coupled with the fact I just loved learning about the intricacies of the human body and how it works. What is your best memory about being an RN? Organizing and leading the patient/family education class on stroke prevention. Being an integral part of the collaborative effort to educate patients and family was so empowering.

N: What do you believe is the greatest change to happen in nursing during your career so far?

LS: The greatest change in nursing during my career was the conversion of electronic/computerized medical records.

N: What do you wish you had a chance to do more of during your career?

LS: One never has enough continuing education.

N: How do you hope nursing will grow in the next 25 years?

LS: I hope nursing will grow stronger in numbers with more passionate and compassionate people inspired to pursue nursing and driven to make a difference in the lives of others.

N: Who is the greatest mentor you had and why?

LS: The greatest mentors for me were, and still are, my parents. Being one of eight children, they encouraged us to pursue what we were passionate about and to never give up. My father urged us to follow his lead and go into business for ourselves. I remain grateful for the firm foundation they provided as it enabled me to believe I could design my own destiny.

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