Life circumstances can redefine our lives, just as they did for Janie Dalrymple.
The Indiana native never imagined becoming a nurse because the corporate world held her interest while growing up. She watched her grandfather, mother and uncle operate a family-owned trophy company and became intrigued with how it all worked.
“After college, I worked as an office manager in a hospice facility and soon realized that I wanted to go into nursing. Seeing the compassion that nurses had for the patients was so compelling for me,” Dalrymple remembers.
She began as a bedside nurse in the cardiac unit of a Fort Wayne hospital and later went into home health. Eventually, Dalrymple started “dabbling” in travel nursing, which brought her to Arizona.
“You could make a lot money if you were an R.N. and willing to travel, and I thought why not? Especially when I could escape those Midwest winters for Arizona’s sunshine,” she said.
In 2009, Janie and her husband, Kirk, moved to the Valley for good. Her husband often considered opening his own business but shied away from the risk. When he unexpectantly died eight years later, she took the opportunity to fulfill the dream he always had.
“I found it difficult to go back to my current position after his death, so I changed directions and got certified as a legal nurse consultant,” she said.
Today, Dalrymple is a board-certified patient advocate – a certification that came about from another death in her family.
“My mother was very ill and had to be on a ventilator, preventing her from being able to speak and explain what hurt or what she needed,” Dalrymple said. “It was in that moment that I needed to advocate for my mom.”
She has supported many others since opening her business, Your Patient’s Advocate, four years ago.
“It’s amazing and unfortunate how a patient’s needs and personal choices are often overlooked,” Dalrymple said. “As advocates, we can educate a client on their diagnosis and treatment plan and give them the tools necessary to make informed decisions in their healthcare. We bridge the gap between the system and the client to make sure their voice is heard.”
Janie also works with ALS patients, helping to address their unique needs. She is the Nurse Educator for the Arizona chapter of the ALS Association and started their bereavement program, understanding how difficult it can be to lose a loved one.
More recently, Dalrymple has become certified as an end-of-life doula, helping people with what she calls “legacy planning.” That includes everything from creating a living will to making funeral arrangements, communicating final sentiments to family and friends, and even writing a person’s eulogy.
“This role allows us to give our clients undivided attention. If they have 15 questions, we have time for 15 answers,” she said. “We ask them what they want and then do our best to make it happen.”
Running your own business is not easy, but Janie has help.
“My fiancé, Ryan, is handling all of the ‘back-of-the-house’ support systems, and that really helps. We’ll probably become partners,” she says with a grin.