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  • Podcasts
  • Ep26: Healing Energy of Nurse Coaching- Sara Choi, BSN, RN, CEN, HNB-BC, IHWC-BC

Ep26: Healing Energy of Nurse Coaching- Sara Choi, BSN, RN, CEN, HNB-BC, IHWC-BC

Sara Choi, BSN, RN, CEN, HNB-BC, IHWC-BC is a multi-faceted Holistic Nurse in NYC who incorporates her intuition and healing work with her education and experience as a Licensed, Board Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Coach and Registered Nurse in Holistic, Emergency and Trauma Nursing for more than 16 years.
As a Holistic Nurse and Practitioner, Sara supports healthcare providers and staff, patients, and their family members in a NYC Hospital.  Sara also enjoys seeing her own private clients through her Holistic practice, Sarang Healing LLC.
Holistic modalities Sara offers include: Holistic Health and Wellness Coaching, Reiki, Healing Touch, Manual Technique with Essential Oils, Aromatherapy, Acupressure, Auriculotherapy Ear Seeds, Guided Meditation, Guided Imagery, Breath Awareness, Acupressure, Reflexology, Thai Yoga Bodywork, Tui Na, and Sound Healing.
Sara Choi received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The University of Texas in 2005, and continued her studies at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine to become a Certified Holistic Nurse.  Sara studied Healing Touch from Healing Beyond Borders and Usui Reiki under Reiki Master Teachers Manu Del Prete and Aki Hirata Baker.
Sara became a Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Nurse Coach with the International Nurse Coach Association and continued her studies in Clinical Nutrition from the Institute of Functional Medicine at the Kripalu Center.
Sara is passionate about continually learning different modalities for healing and well-being. She studied Thai Yoga Bodywork with Lotus Palm Institute and is currently pursuing her Master of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from the Pacific College of Health and Science in NYC.
Want to know more about Sara and what she does?
Check out her site
Instagram: @Sarang.Healing
Facebook: SarangHealing
LinkedIn:  Sara-Choi
Mindbody: Sarang Healing LLC

wellness@saranghealing.com

Ep26: Healing Energy of Nurse Coaching- Sara Choi, BSN, RN, CEN, HNB-BC, IHWC-BC Highlights

Ah-ha Moments

  • Nurse Coaching can be combined with any and many healing modalities like Healing Touch, Reiki, Sound Healing, yoga, meditation, guided imagery, aromatherapy, nourishment, movement and more!
  • Nurse Coaching can be used at the bedside with patients, with colleagues, in communities, doctors’ offices, insurance companies, in private practice, in colleges and any other area you can dream of!
  • A Nurse may see the tools and journey of Nurse Coaching as a way to begin healing
  • Self-care must be a priority to stay energetic and joyful in Nursing practice
  • Listen to your heart for what is truly calling you in your life
  • What signs have you been ignoring that are keeping you from your true passion as a Nurse and human being?

Links and Resources

Team Lavender: How one hospital supports employee well-being article

10 Steps to Start Your Own Business

Sarang Healing

Integrative Nurse Coach Certificate Program

The Business of Nurse Coaching Specialty Program

Ep26: Healing Energy of Nurse Coaching- Sara Choi, BSN, RN, CEN, HNB-BC, IHWC-BC Transcript

Nicole Vienneau  00:00

Welcome, everyone, to Integrative Nurse Coaches in ACTION! My name is Nicole Vienneau, and I am your host and I’m also a board-certified Integrative Nurse Coach. And it is my absolute pleasure to invite Sara Choi from Sarang Healing, all the way from New York City.

She is a board-certified holistic Nurse, certified integrative health and wellness coach, and a holistic practitioner and teacher. And she is so inspirational. And I know that we are going to have the best conversation today. So, welcome, Sara.

Sara Choi  00:38

Welcome. Thank you so much for inviting me onto your show. It’s so nice to see you and catch up with you again. I think it’s been since 2017, when I saw you last in La Jolla.

Nicole Vienneau  00:49

I know, and it’s been a long journey since then.

Sara Choi  00:53

Yes, it has. And I’m sure for our listeners, too. It feels like way more than five years since then.

Nicole Vienneau  01:00

I know, sometimes I’m like: what year is this?

Sara Choi  01:03

Oh, my goodness, I know about it.

Nicole Vienneau  01:06

I know it. So, there’s so much that I look forward to being with you and just absorbing in your energy and all of your knowledge and wisdom. And before we get to what you’re doing today and kind of the journey to that, we’d love to take a trip down history lane and just learn a little bit about why you became a Nurse.

Sara Choi  01:27

Oh, wow, that takes me back. Actually, I grew up in an area similar to where you’re living. I grew up in a desert town called El Paso, Texas. My dad had horrible asthma attacks. And I would witness him really struggle to breathe. And then I experienced my own personal issues with exercise induced asthma as a child, where any physical exertion caused me to feel like I was breathing through a straw.

And that made me visit the school Nurse frequently. And at a time that was very scary for me as a child, I felt like I couldn’t breathe, no one could quite understand what was happening, my school Nurse was very patient and understanding. And she held space for me and helped me feel empowered when I felt like I had no control in my life.

And so, I remember seeing Nurses at the bedside with my dad when he was struggling to breathe and also in my own personal experience. And so I went home, I was seven years old, I told my mom, “Mom, I’m going to be a Nurse.” And she’s like, “Okay!”

So, I enrolled into Nursing school at University of Texas, I got my Bachelor of Science in Nursing. I got involved with medical missions, even after becoming a Nurse. And I started off in the ER as a graduate Nurse. And I loved the ER – I loved that anything could roll in through the ER, whether it’s a pregnant woman delivering in the ambulance entrance or holding someone’s hand as they were transitioning.

And so then I wanted to expand my experience and my scope, and so I became a travel Nurse. I traveled to San Francisco, San Diego, back to Texas, Florida, Hawaii, Portland, Oregon and New York City. And, you know, after a while, experiencing the ER in these different places, it started taking its toll in the ER environment.

And I started noticing Nursing was changing; the medical system, the healthcare system was changing where I was Nursing the patient’s electronic record instead of actually spending time with patients. And the focus was to see more patients in less time and then discharge them or admit them or transfer them out as quick as possible.

And I really felt this disconnect of what I went into Nursing for. You know, I wanted to be a medical missionary Nurse and I ended up going into hospital Nursing. What ended up happening is I started losing connection with myself. And I was angry all the time, but I didn’t know how to reconnect with that version of myself.

So, I went to therapy and I just noticed, like, I need to get out of this environment. So, I took little steps to reconnect with what health and wellness really meant for me. So, I enrolled at Pacific College of Health and Science, and I became a holistic Nurse. And here I am today sitting with and talking with you and with our listeners.

Nicole Vienneau  04:40

Wow.

Sara Choi  04:42

I know, it’s a lot. It’s a long journey.

Nicole Vienneau  04:45

But I love the journey. It’s a piece of your story that makes you so incredible. And I imagine you as a little girl, seven years old, coming to mom and saying, “I want to be a Nurse!” Because you’ve seen the influence and the positive relationships of Nurses in your life with your father, with you as a young girl, confused and not knowing what’s going on with your breathing, and your dad with asthma.

And then all of these experiences as a Nurse – medical missionary, emergency room, travel Nursing. I mean, it just goes on. And then the common story of many Nurses in the past and today, feeling disconnected to ourself and our mission and seeing the healthcare system shifting in a direction that doesn’t really fit with us anymore. And then you seeing that and taking steps to begin to heal yourself.

Would you mind telling us maybe a little bit about what you’ve been doing in the healing journey? And then where you are today and what you’re doing?

Sara Choi  05:53

Yeah, wow. Well, I started noticing I was having chronic pain. And I would go to physicians and ask them, like, I’m having horrible pain in my body. I’ve been struggling with it ever since I was 20 and enrolled into Nursing school. Chronic back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain. And you know, I had injuries in the past, but it didn’t get exacerbated like it was as a Nurse.

So, with these experiences with the medical system, it was always like I was getting prescriptions for ibuprofen, Flexeril, all of these medications that were treating the symptoms but weren’t really getting to the root cause. And I was young, and so people were like: oh, you’re young, take Motrin.

Well, after what… 30 plus years of struggling with pain and taking Motrin for about, I would say 15 years every day, I was like, I need answers. So, actually, through therapy it really helped me feel more empowered and realize that just because I’ve been telling patients to take ibuprofen and following the script of being an ER Nurse, it didn’t mean that that was the only way.

And so, she asked me: “Well, what does wellness look like to you?” And it’s funny because she was a therapist, but she was kind of Nurse Coaching me. And that really sent me on a journey. So, I started getting massages every week, and my massage therapist happened to be a holistic Nurse. How funny that the Universe works this way.

And as she’s massaging me, she’s like, working on me, like: “You know, I’ve been a Nurse for 20 years, and I started off in the NICU, and I realized that I needed to reconnect with my natural ways of healing.” And I had this conversation with her, I remember it clearly, I said, “I wish I could do what you do.” And she said, “Honey, you will do what I do.”

And I was like: “No, you know, I’m just an ER Nurse, I didn’t go to training for what you do.” She goes: “It doesn’t matter. If you feel called to it, it’s for a reason.” And so, that really lit a spark in me. And she goes: “This pain that you’re having is deeper than just physical pain. You’ve been holding on to years and years of trauma, and you haven’t been able to process it.”

And so she referred me to an acupuncturist. And there, lying on the table, I felt 10 years of pain and trauma released from my body, and I remember walking home and a tear rolled down my cheek. I hadn’t been able to emote or cry in over 10 years, because as an ER Nurse, it was just: see the next patient, keep going, going, going. And you didn’t really get to process.

The only way we really processed as Nurses, honestly, was to go out for drinks afterwards. I knew that this wasn’t a healthy lifestyle that was going to be able to last for the rest of my life. And I started seeking answers. I asked my acupuncturist, I said, “What is this that just happened?” And she said, “That’s energy work.”

And she goes: “You know, there is a holistic Nurse program at Pacific College.” And that’s what led me to Pacific College to enroll as a holistic Nurse. And there, I remember the very first class… oh, my goodness. The professor led a meditation and my heart was so closed off; my arms were crossed.

And as she’s leading the meditation – this is Dr. Carla Mariano. I’m sure a lot of holistic Nurses listening have heard of her. She and Barbara Dossey are pioneers in holistic Nursing. But as she’s leading this meditation, tears just start flooding down my face.

And I felt accepted and I felt like it was okay that I had experienced all these things as a Nurse, and that I no longer needed to be “just an ER Nurse.” I could be me. And I could feel me. And I could Nurse myself back to what wellness and well-being looked like for me.

Then this leads me to Nurse Coaching, because one of my professors there – her name is Caroline Ortiz – the way that she was speaking to us as students and asking us questions, I was like, what is happening here? She’s like listening to us and she’s asking us questions with true interest and inquiry.

And so I went to her after class, and I was like: “Hi, Dr. Ortiz, the way that you speak to us is very different. What is this?” And she started laughing. She goes: “I’m a Nurse Coach.” And I’m like, “What is that?” So, she told me about it. And I actually enrolled into the program at La Jolla, when that was in person in 2017. And here I am today.

Nicole Vienneau  11:08

Oh, I love it! It’s so incredible to hear all of these connections, and touch and massage and acupuncture and all of those healing modalities. And I know you’re probably going to talk to us more about other healing modalities because this is your specialty.

Many Nurses, I mean, we’re black and white, we are yes and no, we’re protocol driven. And, you know, you think: ah, that other stuff over there. And meanwhile, that was the beginning of your healing journey, you know, therapy, and then moving into touch and that kind of energy work.

And those words from your massage therapist – really seeing you and hearing you and knowing that there’s more for you. And that catapulted you into so many different directions, and then the connections as you move forward. So tell us more, tell us more.

Sara Choi  12:07

That is so funny. Honestly, so I grew up in a very conservative Christian home, and so things like energy work were very taboo for me. We weren’t really allowed to even learn about those things. And so, when I experienced it for myself, I just felt it personally, and it was very healing to me. And, you know, my parents were very, like, anti-acupuncture.

Well, my mother was very like anti-acupuncture, because she was like: oh, you know, that’s this that and the other. But experiencing it for myself, I was like: no, this is healing. And it’s part of integrative medicine, it doesn’t just have to be labs drawn and X-rays and MRIs and CT scans and prescriptions and discharge paperwork and out the door.

Like, health is multifaceted, and it’s a journey, and it incorporates so many different medical systems and modalities of healing and approaches. And so, honestly, it started with acupuncture, and then once I exposed myself to that, I started reconnecting with my yoga practice, and going to sound baths.

Then, in Pacific College, they taught a class called Healing Touch, and I took the class and there it like, blew my mind. Healing touch accessed a part of my connection to myself and my spirituality in a way that I had never been exposed to before. This is gonna get a little woo-woo, but hopefully the listeners are open to it.

I was on the table in Healing Touch, and one of the students was practicing with me. And there was the practitioner leading, who was there holding space for me. And I felt this woman’s hand touching my shoulder and I could see her, like in a vision, but with my eyes closed.

And I sat up afterwards and I said, “Who is this woman?” The student was like: “There is no other woman. It’s just me and the teacher.” And I go: “No, there’s a woman touching my shoulder.” So, Healing Touch 2, about three months later, that same woman appeared to me in a vision and was holding my ankles during the class.

And I asked, I said, “Who is this woman that keeps coming into these classes?” And my professor’s like: “We have no clue who you’re talking about, but it may be one of your guides.” And I was like: “What is a guide?” So then, Healing Touch 3, I saw a vision of her and she was holding space for me in the corner of the room.

And by this time, I’ve seen her three times, I said, “Okay, whoever this person is, like, I welcome you.” What was interesting is I sat up and I thought: you know, the Nurses know about healing touch, but the greater community doesn’t really know about healing touch.

So, I’m gonna check out Reiki, because Reiki is a term that’s used in the community and people who aren’t Nurses are interested in Reiki. So, I signed up for the class, and there, standing in front of the class, was that woman, teaching the class!

Nicole Vienneau  12:39

Oh, my gosh.

Sara Choi  13:44

I know. So, during our lunch break, I went up to her and I said, “I know this sounds insane, but I’ve been seeing you for a year in my healing touch class.” And she goes: “Oh, no, honey, that’s completely normal.” She said, “My higher self calls people into this work.” And I was like: “Okay.”

So, I took one, two, and three with her. I also becoming a board-certified holistic Nurse, and a Nurse Coach. I started my own practice. And I started incorporating Reiki into my practice and learning sound healing and hosting sound baths and healing circles. And I was doing a lot of healing work within the hospitals and with fellow healthcare providers.

And she started visiting me in my dreams and doing Reiki sessions. And so I emailed her and I go: “Just to let you know, you’ve been visiting me in my dreams.” She goes: “Oh, good. I’m glad you can feel it. Are you ready to teach Reiki?” And I said, “Yeah, I’m ready.”

So, ever since then, I’ve been teaching Reiki and spreading this amazing gift with other people. I just love how it started with my own brokenness and my own desire to reconnect with healing and what wellness meant for me, and I went searching.

It started with a therapist, and then massage, and that massage therapist speaking life into me and saying: you can do so much more healing work than what you just limit yourself to believe who you are and what you can do. And so, that’s really encouraging for me, and hopefully, anyone listening can feel encouraged with that as well.

Nicole Vienneau  17:22

Oh, I got chills. I was getting chills as you were telling the stories. I mean, and being called, and listening to how you were being called and seeing it, and then acknowledging it, because you had to reach out. I mean, you had to send that email and say: hey, there you are again.

So, you know, I’m sure I know that so many of us are being called. And we can ignore that. Or we don’t see it, or we think: oh, not for me. And we can potentially be missing out. And so, I just have to ask the question: how do we even know that? How do we… how would we know that we were being called in a direction?

Sara Choi  18:07

I love that question. Honestly, I get this question a lot from clients when they are questioning what their next step should be in life. Honestly, for me, it feels like tugging of my heartstrings and a stirring in my spirit, and almost like a bubbling underneath the surface of my skin that is a hunger that is insatiable.

Like, there’s something more, there’s something more out there. There’s something more that I need to do that I feel called to do. And what often happens is you start to disconnect from what you felt was your routine, what feels comfortable to you. What happened with me was, every time I walked towards the ER doors, my spirit was like: ‘girl, you gotta move on’.

And I would be like: oh, well, you know, I’ve been doing this for 16 years, like, this is what I know. I can be an ER Nurse in my sleep. You know, I’ve built up so many relationships here. But my spirit was like: it’s okay, like, the universe is bigger, and it has your back. And you are going to be a blessing to people, no matter whether you’re a bedside Nurse, or you’re going to be a blessing to a cashier at a grocery store.

And that really resonated in my spirit to listen. Because what was happening is I kept asking for signs like, give me a sign, a sign to quit, give me a sign to move on. And they were coming to me. But then after a while, I was like: well, maybe one more sign. And then finally, honestly, what happened was I was on my way to work one morning, and I was waiting for a bus at 5:30 in the morning, and I got held up by gunpoint.

And us as Nurses, we have this, probably unhealthy, need to go to work and show up for our team, instead of taking care of our own needs first. So, after I got held up at gunpoint – this is actually how Nurse Coaching kicked in for me – I tell the guy, I’m like: “So, what you’re telling me is…” And I was able to use that situation and get out of it. Nurse Coaching really helped me through that.

And then I got on the bus and I went to the ER to clock in, and then one of the Nurses goes: “Are you okay? Your eye’s bleeding.” And I was like: “I just got held up at gunpoint.” And she goes: “Girl, go home and take care of yourself.” And that was a big shift for me.

I was like, how toxic is it that the healthcare system teaches us to “be there for your teammates,” but doesn’t encourage you to really take care of yourself first so that you can be a healthy teammate for your workplace. So yeah, that was a big shift in my life.

And it’s interesting how trauma really is a catalyst for change. But I do notice, actually, that a lot of my clients’ experience these things, as well. And I’m able to empathize with them and say, “It’s so difficult, but I’m proud of you for listening and taking this step to be here.”

Nicole Vienneau  21:43

I am very much like… see images of things, you know. So, I am imagining all of that going, just how you described all of that and seeing you going through all of that. And you, in essence, needed to be held up at gunpoint. Distinctly, I see, is you with your punch card, going to punch in at work after that happened to you. And another angel showed up and said, “What happened?”

Sara Choi  22:17

Yeah, definitely. Definitely. And I think that really spoke to me. And I really believe in American Holistic Nurses Association’s vision that every Nurse is a holistic Nurse. And that Nurse who knew me for years, looked at me and she saw me, and she was a holistic Nurse, she coached me even though she didn’t have the training.

She said, “What’s wrong? I can see something’s wrong. I want you to feel safe. It’s okay to go home and take care of yourself.” And essentially, that is my mission every time I interact with people, is I want them to feel safe, that they can feel seen and heard and understood. And that they can value themselves, you know, that it’s okay to take care of yourself.

Nicole Vienneau  23:07

It is very much okay to take care of yourself. Yes. So, I know our listeners would love to know a little bit about Sarang Healing. And, you know, maybe even… because I think plenty of Nurses are like: dang, I would really like to move potentially out of healthcare, or how can I use some of these skills maybe within healthcare? And how would that look like? And how did you do it?

Sara Choi  23:41

Definitely. Honestly, it wasn’t like an overnight thing, like, oh, I graduated and got my board certification, I’m starting my own private practice. It was baby steps. You know, when we have self-limiting beliefs and thoughts and patterns, it’s not easy to completely transform the way you view yourself.

So, for me, it started off with me supporting coworkers, and I would coach them and do Reiki. What ended up happening is it would often open up opportunities for me to share Nurse Coaching with patients in the ER. And then I worked at a wellness center per diem. So, I went part-time in the ER and worked at a wellness center, and I was doing Reiki and holistic Nursing there.

And I started my… well, then I wrote a proposal to start a wellness program for ER staff, and they loved it but they didn’t want to pay me for it. Don’t you love the healthcare system? And so, I said, “Oh, well that’s nice.” And part of me, as a Nurse, was so tempted to be the “martyr” and be like: you know, I need to support my fellow staff.

But I stood my ground and said, “Nope. If they’re not willing to pay me for this work that I’m doing, this is a sign and I need to start my own private practice. So, I literally Googled how to start my own practice, my own business. And I followed those eight steps one-by-one. So, then I started seeing clients at a center I rented per hour.

And then, it’s so funny how the universe works – I was working in the ER, and literally within the span of two days, I received three text messages from friends that was like: “Hey, I just found this holistic Nurse job position opening, I thought this would be a great fit for you, you should apply.” So, I applied, I got the job, and I’m a holistic Nurse at an inner city hospital.

And so, what I do is I support staff. And during the pandemic, actually, I was working in the ER taking care of COVID patients, but also supporting ER staff – Nurses, doctors. So many healthcare providers were expressing to the Nurse management that they needed support. And so, we took the COVID tent and we transformed it into a wellness tent.

So, I set up gongs and Tibetan sound bowls and crystal bowls, and I would lead meditation and breath work. And I use this time to do coaching, and allowed them to have their safe space to process their emotions about taking care of patients who are positive COVID.

So, as a holistic Nurse at the other hospital, I was supporting staff, and I would go from unit to unit and check in with Nurses and doctors, resident NPs, Nurse techs, anyone on the floor, and offer them coaching and Reiki. And then still as a holistic Nurse, I support patients at the bedside who are admitted.

So, I do all of these modalities – meditation, visualization, sound healing, Reiki healing, touch and technique, aromatherapy, acupressure, reflexology, positive affirmations, with patients and their family members as they’re going through a difficult time being admitted to the hospital.

So, my role started being multifaceted, and then in October 2021, I resigned from my position in the ER because I asked for a sign. And the sign was they wanted more time for me in the ER and I said I can’t do it, my holistic calling is growing stronger. And I stayed part-time at this other hospital as a holistic Nurse, supporting staff and patients and their family members and seeing my own personal clients.

So, within Sarang Healing, I use similar modalities that I mentioned before, but it’s private clients and they’re self-pay. Then I felt called, actually, during the height of COVID, to expand my practice and incorporate integrative modalities from China and Korea and East Asian cultures.

So, I enrolled back into the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and I am pursuing my Bachelor of Science in Acupuncture and Traditional Oriental Medicine and Herbs. So, it’s interesting because it didn’t just happen overnight, it was little things here and there that felt like it was calling me.

And then I was able to let go of things and grasp on to other things that felt more like what I needed to do, not what I should do, but what I felt like I needed to do for myself and for my well-being. And that ultimately leads to other people feeling good and benefiting from it. So, it’s been good. It’s been a journey, definitely.

But I think that for anyone transitioning away from the bedside or even incorporating a more integrative and holistic lens, it takes little baby steps here and there, but you’ll definitely get there. It’ll be five years and you look back and be like: oh my gosh, I can’t believe all this has happened.

Nicole Vienneau  29:28

Oh, it’s true. I think of… Well, you mentioned you were in Emergency Room 16 years, you know, before you even started to realize that you needed to make the transition. And that time you look back and like: wow, those were 16 years? That went by so fast.

Sara Choi  29:45

Yeah, yeah. I felt the call at 10 years, where I was like: I need to move on. But for me to really let go of the ER, it was 16 and a half years past. Yup. I can’t believe I’m saying that.

Nicole Vienneau  29:58

Oh, yeah, I have a similar story… for another day.

So, and I really enjoyed how you were talking about all of the modalities that you have learned through all of this experience that you’ve had through the education. And then you mentioned multifaceted, and I just couldn’t help but connect that back to the human being and how multifaceted we are. And that all of these modalities, I mean, they have a purpose, and they help reconnect the multifaceted person back to being one whole being.

Sara Choi  30:35

Exactly.

Nicole Vienneau  30:38

So, tell us a day in the life of you. Not from brushing your teeth, though. But like, a day in the life of Sara Choi at Sarang Healing.

Sara Choi  30:50

Well, you and I have actually talked about this, because we’re both Aries. So, I’m a fire sign, and I have a lot of energy so it may feel a little bit overwhelming to hear all of this. But, so, I start at the hospital at 8am and I print the hospital census, and I literally go from floor to floor, and I see patients in the hospital.

And so, the interaction with patients are always received with consent. And it can go from about five minutes to an hour. And so, I offer these modalities. It’s really interesting how people are hungry for integrative modalities. Conventional medicine and Western medicine and their approach just isn’t cutting it anymore.

People are realizing there’s more to healing than just one way. And so, I love that, you know, patients who are like 75 years old, they’re like: “Can you do Reiki on me?” I’m like: “Yes!” It’s amazing. So, I see about 25 patients a day, and I also support staff. So, the days that I support staff, I may not be able to see as many patients.

And I’m part of an interdisciplinary team called Team Lavender, and I highly suggest Nurses who are interested in a holistic program that support staff to think about this, because this was actually initiated by a Nurse. And it’s an interdisciplinary team with chaplaincy, me as a holistic Nurse, HR, and a behavioral health specialist and patient experience department.

And what we do is we respond to staff who need support. So, a lot of times if they have a very challenging patient or family member, or a loss of a patient that they’ve been working with for several weeks or months, they’ll call a Team Lavender just like how you call a code, but they call code Lavender, and we respond to them.

We also do proactive rounding, so that’s part of my day. I also meet with hospital leaders. I have done meditations for hospital administration that’s televised via teams on Microsoft. And so, that goes out to the hospital. And then afterwards, I oftentimes see clients virtually, whether it’s virtual coaching through Zoom or virtual Reiki.

And then sometimes I go in after work, and I see clients at a space and see clients in person, and they oftentimes come to me for coaching or the other holistic modalities I mentioned. And then if I’m not seeing clients after work, I typically go to school or I’m studying for a class. So, I stay pretty busy, but I love what I do, it really energizes me.

And I will say sometimes it gets discouraging when I think about continuing my master’s program, because it’s a long program. And I often think: oh, I wish I would have started this program earlier. But I always have to remind myself that time is gonna pass no matter what, so you might as well learn something that really sparks joy in you and piques your interest and is for you.

And so, if anyone’s listening to this podcast and thinking: man, I really wish I could do that. Honestly, it’s never too late to start something. If something interests you, go for it. Take that class. Actually, this whole thing started with a sewing class.

When I was in therapy, not only did I have a toxic relationship with my work and being a Nurse, or my idea of being a Nurse and that environment, but I was in a dysfunctional relationship that was very toxic for me. And therapy helped me with that.

My therapist said, “What’s something you’ve always wanted to do, but have put off?” And I said, “I always wanted to take a sewing class.” And I remember holding up the dress that I sewed and thinking: oh, my God, I need to leave this relationship. And it empowered me. And I found my own apartment.

And that is what was literally the catalyst for me to enroll into the holistic Nursing program and become a coach. And it started with that sewing class and that one dress. So, I really encourage you. Take that class, whatever it may be. You never know what will come of it.

Nicole Vienneau  34:23

You don’t know what will come of it and that’s what’s exciting. It’s exciting. Well, some will think it’s exciting, and then other people think that’s scary, too. It’s both.

Sara Choi  35:54

It was scary. I was surrounded by five year olds – I was 33 at the time and learning how to sew a little pocket coin purse, and they were doing amazing at it with their little hands. And I kept asking the teacher to help me. But you know what, looking back, I’m so glad I took that class, it really changed my life.

Nicole Vienneau  36:17

It really did change your life. Oh, it’s beautiful. Such a beautiful story. Oh, so many threads in there that I could just pivot on, but I’m not going to. I just want to sit with that beautiful, beautiful image of you holding up the dress, and realizing it’s time to shift.

Sara Choi  36:40

That’s right. It was a shift dress. That’s hilarious.

Nicole Vienneau  36:49

Love it. Oh, my gosh. Well, in our last few moments… and I don’t want it to end, but it’s going to end, this time here. What else would you just feel is on your heart that you would like to share with us?

Sara Choi  37:04

You know, I will say most of my most powerful coaching sessions, and the blessing that Nurse Coaching has taught me through International Nurse Coaching Association, is the conversations with my personal relationships. So, with my family and my close friends.

Because, as a Nurse, I think that I was so quick to give people advice like: oh, well, you should do this. And that started seeping into my personal life, with my sisters, with my parents. And I learned to have an assumed idea of people and their responses.

And that really limited me in my perspective of people that were my patients, but also my loved ones. And I noticed that during that time, my sisters didn’t really want to talk to me about certain things, and my close friends didn’t really want to talk to me about certain things because they thought that I would judge them.

And so, Nurse Coaching was a gift to me in my personal relationships, because I was able to see them with fresh eyes, and not make assumptions, put all judgments aside, and really see them and hear them and actively listen to them and what the underlying message was. And to not come up with advice or the answers, but to really hold space for them to allow them to feel safe.

And through that they responded and would tell me: “You know, Sara, you’re very different. You just seem more relaxed and more open. And I really feel like I can talk to you.” And that has been one of the greatest tools that INCA has given me, honestly, was those tools to really listen and hold space.

And actually, my business name Sarang is the Korean word for love and to hold space. And it has my name: S-a-r-a. And so, I wanted that to be embodied in my practice, is to really love people and to communicate that love to them and hold space for them.

The future of Nurse Coaching is already happening, and if you feel called to become a Nurse Coach, I highly inspire you to do it. Hospitals, wellness centers, private doctor’s offices, health insurance companies – they’re looking for Nurse Coaches because, you know, people being hospitalized and procedures cost money.

And so a lot of these health insurance companies want Nurse Coaches to check in on patients so that it prevents them from being sick. And I see Nurse Coaches on social media: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tik-Tok videos, and this podcast! And I really do believe that’s going to be part of the future. And if you’ve been thinking about Nurse Coaching or starting your own practice, I really encourage you.

If you have any questions, you’re more than welcome to contact me at my site: www.saranghealing.com. You can text me – my phone number is on my site. I’m also on Instagram and Facebook as Sarang Healing. I’m also on LinkedIn as Sara Choi. So, it’s been such a pleasure to speak with you, Nicole.

Nicole Vienneau  40:47

Oh, my gosh, I have just absorbed up all of your wisdom and energy and I know our listeners are doing the same. And, of course, we’re going to have all of your links on how people can reach out to you. And listeners, maybe you can even book a one-to-one session with Sara and receive coaching or virtual Reiki. So many opportunities to begin and continue the healing journey.

Sara Choi  41:16

That’s right. Thank you so much.

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