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A Northwest Indiana Life in the Spotlight: Jaime El-Talabani

By: Sarah DeMars Last Updated: July 17, 2019

When Jaime El-Talabani looks back on her life, she wishes she hadn’t tried to have it all together. The pressure to have it all together in a young mother’s life is something that’s present, but always unattainable. While El-Talabani is grateful to her husband, mother, and the rest of her family for always supporting her, she wishes she never tried to be superwoman, and instead, learned to enjoy and love the present moment.

At this present moment, El-Talabani is a mom and a nurse, working and living in the region, and enjoying the summer weather. El-Talabani has been a nurse for 10 years and absolutely loves her job. She understands the importance and responsibility of being in the healthcare and feeds off of it constantly.

“Being a nurse means that you’re a part of people’s lives on their worst days. But on those horrible days you have the opportunity, as a nurse, to help carry that burden with your patient and the patient’s family. You can make that horrible day more bearable,” said El-Talabani.

Growing up with her father in the military meant that Jaime had to move around a lot. In fact, she lived in 18 houses in 17 years – all across the continental United States and in Germany. During this time, she learned how to prioritize her time and her friendships, staying in touch with the people she loved through social media. Being an army kid meant that she was homeschooled, an aspect of her education that she loved as a child. Homeschooling meant that she could better experience the different places with her family as they moved around the world. 

Later on during high school, Jaime started to babysit during her spare time. Taking care of young children and disabled kids started her down the path of becoming a nurse, inspiring her to help take care of those in need. When she graduated from high school, she started her college career at Ivy Tech and then finally graduated from Indiana Northwest.

Over the course of her ten year career, Jaime has loved the personal relationships she developed with patients. Looking back, she remembers the times she’s had with her patients while sharing a coffee, calming their fears, or just helping them along in their recovery. She finds it to be the most rewarding part of being a nurse. While she notes that nurses face struggles and hardships in their profession, she laughs saying, “kindergarten teachers work even harder!” 

When faced with criticism surrounding the nursing profession she remarks, “No one starts on the path of becoming a nurse just for the pay – nurses remain nurses because they are invested in helping people feel better. There is always someone out there who needs help – someone who needs a nurse.”

When Jaime isn’t taking care of patients, she spends her moments with her family and enjoys reading a good book. Jaime enjoys challenging herself by reading from different perspectives and narratives. Her current favorite? “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah.

Living in downtown Hobart feels like an idealistic hometown in the summertime, she says. Walking around the lakes, going to restaurants, and spending time at the surrounding the different parks makes summertime her favorite time of the year. 

Her happy home life drives her optimistic character as it’s fueled by the love for her family and inspiration from her mother. When Jaime feels challenged by life, she turns to the humor of her young children and their entertaining mannerisms. Their childish stories and outlandish sayings make her laugh on her hardest days.