On April 11, 2019, AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassador Rachel Walker, gave the keynote address at the 44th Oncology Nursing Society Congress. The Congress is the largest conference dedicated to oncology nursing. One of the sponsors, Johnson and Johnson, caught up with Rachel after her talk to learn more about her journey to becoming a nurse inventor. Check out the discussion below.
We recently spoke with Dr. Walker to learn more about her nursing journey, her innovative ideas, and her thoughts on nurses as leaders, mentors, and inventors.
J&J: Can you tell us about your nursing journey, and how your experience in rural areas and with disaster relief led you to where you are now?
Dr. Walker: When I was 19, I was working with a wilderness search and rescue team based in the Blue Ridge Mountains. One night we were called out to search for a plane that had crashed into a side of a mountain. After 8 hours of searching in the dark, we located the crumpled plane and its pilot. I realized two things: 1) The pilot, who was conscious but very badly injured, was most likely going to die, and 2) even as we were trying to save his life, no one was talking to him as a person…