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Elizabeth Crawford 

Elizabeth Crawford

Registered Nurse for
Adair, Cherokee, Craig, Delaware, Mayes and Ottawa Counties

3.5 Years of Service

Who inspires you? 

My mother is such an inspiration to me. Her optimism is contagious. She has had three different cancer diagnoses along with many surgeries and is currently in remission. She has always remained strong and continues to put others needs above her own.

If someone was interested in a public health career, what advice or encouragement would you give them?

Being a public health nurse, you wear many different hats. It involves being a multi tasker, which I love. I can go from making silly faces to distract a child from the vaccines to providing education to someone recently diagnosed with E.coli. It can be a challenge, but it is very rewarding.

Can you share a few highlights of your experience in public health in Oklahoma? What is the most rewarding part of your work?

As a public health nurse, I get the opportunity to see a variety of clients with different needs. We get to provide them services through many programs. One important aspect that stands out is in family planning. We work alongside the nurse practitioner to encourage regular breast and cervical cancer screenings. We provide screenings in the clinic and help with resources in the community for further testing or procedures. We never send someone away without a plan. If we can’t help, we will find someone who can.  Clients are very grateful for our compassion, and that in return is gratifying.

In your role, how do you educate people about public health?

Education is key in public health. Sometimes we know the facts but we need help in making those changes. Most people want to live a long life but we also want to lead an active life. Being active, healthy eating and having a tobacco-free lifestyle increase quality of life and can prevent chronic disease.

What is the most difficult part of your job?

I do not enjoy giving shots to children but at the same time, I believe vaccines are important. I try to make it as fun as possible. We sing the alphabet or count to 10 and always have stickers at the end.

What is the most rewarding experience you have had in public health?

I really enjoy educating young men and women about sexual health and STIs. It is very rewarding to hear them say how nice the health department employees are and how comfortable they feel coming to us. We want our clients to feel like they can talk about anything.

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