By Linda Childers
“In my high school graduating class, I was voted most likely to become a nurse,” DiCarlo said. “In retrospect, I wish I had became a nurse right from the start and could now say I’ve been a nurse for 30 years.”Rita DiCarlo, RN
DiCarlo’s career is multifaceted. She worked as a chiropractor for five years and in 2000, returned to school to study nursing at Palm Beach Community College in Florida. She then completed her second year of nursing online through Regents College, Vancouver, British Columbia, while she worked as an ER tech. After obtaining her nursing degree, DiCarlo began working as an ER nurse at St. John’s Hospital in Camarillo, Calif.
“I really love the science that goes with nursing,” said DiCarlo, who has worked in the ER, and as a clinic and dialysis nurse. The latter, is a cause especially close to her heart.
“In 2007, I donated a kidney to a family friend in Detroit and since then I’ve worked to raise awareness of how easy it is to be a living donor,” DiCarlo said.
According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, approximately 123,394 people are on the waiting list to receive an organ donation. UNOS said in response to the shortage of organs for transplantation, relatives, loved ones, friends and even individuals with no prior relationship, are serving as living donors for the growing number of people on the national organ transplant waiting list.
Before beginning her work as an entrepreneur (She is the creator of the BiteMyHair headband), DiCarlo’s last nursing job was as a traveling dialysis nurse for Fresenius, which operates worldwide, with its main headquarters in Bad Homburg, Germany.
“I think most people are unaware of what an easy procedure it is to donate a kidney,” she said.
DiCarlo tries to educate others about how transplant surgery has evolved over the years, making it easier than ever to be a donor.
“Many people still think of the procedure as being major surgery,” she said. “It actually takes my mechanic longer to change my alternator than it took for the entire surgery to be completed.”
Linda Childers is a freelance writer.