Welcome to my blog and wellness website, my name Sierra Marie Baker. I am a Registered Nurse and Clinical Mentor in the Intensive Care Unit. I am also a Holistic Nurse and an Energy Healer, practicing both in the hospital setting and within my community. I am proud to be a nurse and I truly enjoy practicing the Art of Nursing. My goal is to support and encourage nurses and other people who are interested in integrating holistic self-care into their wellness routines.
Vision: To bridge the gap between conventional medicine and holistic healing.
Mission: To be a service to others, providing heart-centered, holistic nursing care to the community, while promoting self-care and wellness to facilitate health and healing.
Bird Songs are a collection of my blogs – stories created through my experiences in life, energy work and practicing the Art of Nursing.
In sharing stories, I hope to inspire nurses, health care providers and everyone else to integrate holistic practices into their lives, both professionally and personally. After all, in order to effectively care for others, we must first care for ourselves. This blog will serve as a platform to provide educational and inspirational tips and tools for nurses, health care providers and others looking to integrate holistic care into their wellness routines.
I enjoy sharing my personal healing stories, intuitive ideas, health and wellness tips, positive affirmations and more. I hope you enjoy reading along.
May you always find inspiration and peace.
My Healing Journey
Like most stories, the roots of my passion and intuition started in childhood. I grew up among the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains in Lake Tahoe, California. These mountains provided a sanctuary of natural healing and gave me an early glimpse of the healing power of Mother Nature. It was amidst the forest, the Truckee River and the limitless boundaries of the mountains that I understood that being in nature provides healing to our souls. I grew up with my little sister, playing in the forest, swimming in the river and hiking around the mountains. We spent our days outside, playing with our dogs, climbing rocks, talking to trees, making insects our friends and caring for wild flowers. Together we craved the sunlight and open wilderness and it was here in the mountains, that we felt freedom and happiness from the stresses of the world.
As a young girl, I became a member of the Girl Scout community. It was during this time as a Girl Scout that I first discovered the Art of Nursing. I enjoyed putting together first aid kits and learning basic first aid and survival skills. After earning the patch of First Aid on my little sash, I took these skills home with me and soon began using my newfound skills on my sister and friends. Carrying a first aid kit into the forest on our daily excursions, I was quick to assess situations, diagnose “boo-boos,” cleanse the skin and dress the wound properly. I would address crying or pain with gentle touch to make it “all better.” Even as a child, this felt natural to me and I never hesitated to call upon Mother Nature and God to help heal my sister, friends, our animals or myself.
Like most modern teenagers, I stopped playing in the forest and my teen years were spent dating boys, practicing Cheer-leading and working at the local grocery store. I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. In 1999, one week before my 18th birthday, I moved away to college and attended Santa Barbara City College where I enrolled in general education and business classes. After a year of learning business, fashion and marketing, I didn’t feel the spark of passion I once felt as a child. So, I decided to move to San Diego to try to further discover my passion. It wasn’t until 2001, living in San Diego, when I once again felt that passion for healing.
At 19, I was diagnosed with a large uterine fibroid coupled with moderate endometriosis causing anemia, extensive pain and confusion about what was happening to me. I struggled through hormone therapy and invasive diagnostic treatments for a few months until it was decided that I would need surgery. I was constantly tired from anemia and bloated to the equivalency of 5 months pregnant, so I knew it was time to have the surgery. I spent 2 nights recovering in the hospital after surgery, awaking in a morphine haze, I remembered what my true passion is…helping people heal.
Spending those few nights in the hospital, I watched the nurses care for me, I felt the energy and love they put into my healing body, and at that moment I fell in love with Nursing. As soon as I was well, I enrolled in nursing school and graduated with my Associates Degree in Nursing from Grossmont College on May 31, 2004.
After spending 6 years as a RN within the Intensive Care Unit, I felt happy and passionate about my relatively new career. I progressed quickly practicing and providing nursing care to a variety of critically ill patients. Over the years I earned many accolades and certificates including my certification in Critical Care Nursing and Scripps Green Hospital’s 2008 ICU Nurse of the Year. These achievements brought recognition to my nursing care; however, I felt there was something more to nursing than titrating drips, ventilator care and charting. I was searching for something more when I attended Scripps 2010 Integrative and Holistic Nursing Conference and learned about Healing Touch. This marked the beginning of my journey to uncovering the truth about nursing, healing and the power of integrated, holistic care.
Healing Touch taught me to be present with my patients while providing a method of natural healing, treating the whole person. What I instinctively knew as a young girl became my new truth; health is not the absence of disease but is the balance of mind, body, emotions and spirit. I began practicing the art of Healing Touch on all of my critically ill patients for pain relief and stress reduction with amazing results. When Ativan doesn’t help decrease a patient’s anxiety, I know a Healing Touch technique will do the trick. If I give IV pain medicine, I also provide Healing Touch to the patient to further promote decreased pain. I learned there is real healing power in providing heart-centered, holistic care as a top nursing intervention.
Over 3 years, I progressed through the Healing Touch Level 1-5 courses, earning my Healing Touch International Practitioner Certificate on May 31, 2013. After additional course work and dedication, I became a Certified Healing Touch Practitioner in September 2013. In October 2013, I traveled to Lakewood, CO, the birthplace of Healing Touch, to be pinned as a Certified Healing Touch Practitioner and to officially proclaim my passion and gifted skill as a healing nurse. It was during my Healing Touch Practitioner Apprenticeship that I uncovered the integral impact and healing power of balancing the mind, body, emotions and spirit.
Through this experience, another nurse and I created our own private practice as Healing Nurses LLC, opening our doors in December 2013, to offer Healing Touch and Reiki to the community. In September 2014, to add to my energy work tool kit, I traveled to mystical Sedona, Arizona to attend Reiki 1st and 2nd degree training to become a Reiki Practitioner. In February 2016, I once again traveled to Sedona to complete advanced training to become a Reiki Master. In October 2016, I retired from Healing Nurses LLC to redirect my focus on my passion for bridging the gap between conventional medicine and holistic healing in the hospital setting.
With 13 years of Critical Care Nursing Experience, I continue to work full-time as a Clinical Mentor in the Intensive Care Unit at Scripps Health. As a Scripps Wellness Champion, I have become a recognized holistic presence within my unit and the hospital and enjoy sharing my passion for natural medicine. Over the last year and a half, I have completed an Herbal Medicine Making course and have been able to integrate aromatherapy into the ICU to help reduce stress and anxiety, while increasing energy levels, for the nurses. I helped to create and hosted Scripps Green Hospital’s first ever Code Lavender: Employee Care Event to promote Wellness and Self-Care during Nurses Week 2016. On May 3, 2016 as I celebrated my 8-year wedding anniversary, I was announced Scripps Green Hospital’s 2016 ICU Nurse of the Year for my efforts in holistic nursing and creating the Code Lavender Event. In 2017, the Code Lavender Events spread system-wide and we have been able to offer them at each of our sister hopsitals!
Currently, I am perusing board certification as a Holistic Nurse and plan to sit for the exam in Fall 2017. Along with this certification, my goal is to facilitate the integration of Nurse Driven Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) into the patient care units of my community’s hospitals. I am an active member of a group of nurses currently creating and implementing Scripps Memorial Hospital’s Nurse Delivered Aromatherapy Program as a supplement to the Patient Care Plan. Having completed a Compassionate Care with Aromatherapy Certification course I will be able to teach other nurses how to safely administer aromatherapy to the patients who request it. I am motivated to spread this holistic nursing project throughout the Scripps System.
In my personal life, my husband, Todd, and I are actively trying to conceive a baby. We are working hard to create a family and home that thrives on love and positive energy, is earth conscious and utilizes natural medicine. We enjoy spending our free time together looking for new adventures in camping and traveling. We are blessed to have a niece and nephew to play with and enjoy spending time with our families too. My sister and I still enjoy being outdoors women together, spending afternoons hiking and weekends camping together. Todd and I are fortunate to live in the same city as most of our family. On my own days off I enjoy hiking, gardening, relaxing, gentle yoga, hanging out with my girlfriends and riding my beach cruiser around my community. I try to practice some form of Self-Care every day which includes: energy work, yoga, herbal teas, clean eating, mindfulness, herbal tinctures, sleeping in, herbal body oiling, journaling, prayer, aromatherapy, massage, acupuncture, chiropractic care or my favorite moving meditation – walking on the beach.
I am truly honored to be able to practice my passion for holistic healing in the form of Nursing, as Florence Nightingale said, by “placing the patient in the best possible condition for nature to act upon him.”
Healing is the restoration of balance for the mind, body, emotions and spirit.