Apple Watch Star Andrea Dalzell Shares Advice for Professional Success
By Lisa Wells, Cure Medical
IIf New York native Andrea Dalzell looks familiar to you, you're not alone. The latest issue of New Mobility magazine spotlights Andrea as the first registered nurse in New York City who uses a wheelchair, while sharing her educational journey and struggle for equal opportunity as a healthcare professional in the article titled "Nurses on Wheels."
Rolling Nurse Blazes New Trails
While relaying her considerable journey to earn her academic degree and nursing certification, Andrea explained the ongoing need for clear communication with her educators and evaluators who often doubted her ability.
"Nurse managers sometimes thought it was more of a hindrance to have someone in a wheelchair on the floor. I had to tell them, it's not just bedside care, it's teamwork. Don't judge me before you know what I can do," she shares in the story.
As you might expect, Andrea passed her nursing tests and other criteria with flying colors and became an registered nurse in February 2018.
"New York State's nursing board told me I was the first (wheelchair user) in the state to graduate with a credential," she recalls.
In fact, there are only about 20 registered nurses who use wheelchairs in the whole country. While teaching was an option for her right out of school, she is eager to dive into patient care.
"I eventually want the bedside-type of nursing position because I feel like I understand that disability can come off as a death sentence. If you can be that one person that comes into a room and can change someone's mindset about that, you give them a whole new will to live," she adds.
Presently, Andrea works as a case manager for a long-term managed care company. And, as you might already suspect, the recent media coverage of her history-making nursing accomplishment isn't her first glimpse of the limelight.
Destined for Greatness: Andrea Dalzell
Andrea was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis at the age of 5 and began using a wheelchair full-time at the age of 12.
Anyone who has the pleasure of meeting Andrea will not soon forget her contagious smile, iconic Brooklyn accent, and strong, confident presence. She continues to pay it forward as a disability advocate and represented her home state as Ms. Wheelchair New York in 2015.
For all of her success, Andrea still relies on the values she learned through a humble beginning in a loving, supportive family who taught her the value of hard work and not to allow a physical challenge to discourage her dreams.
"I didn't want to not be accepted as a kid, so I went out there and did what I wanted to do," she recalls.
True to her word, Andrea has not let Transverse Myelitis stop her from achieving a career in healthcare or becoming a star in national TV commercials for global brands that you will recognize as household names.
Andrea Shines on the Silver Screen
Born with a natural drive for success, Andrea had to work harder than most kids her age to achieve what many view as basics. Attending school regularly and socializing with friends did not come easily due in most part to the multiple surgeries and hospitalizations she endured as a child.
Her bubbly personality and distinguished beauty continued to shine, though, so it wasn't long before TV agents recognized her potential for roles they were casting in the New York area.
In this 2015 commercial for Gillette Venus, Andrea embraces her inner and outer beauty with an authentic joy that shines on film.
Her biggest break to date, however, came through her fascination with new applications for monitoring health and wellness.
The technology giant Apple reached out to Andrea after she had been featured in a social media campaign for body image, as well as a New York-based fashion show. "They asked me to participate in a commercial for the Apple Watch to demonstrate how the fitness feature supported my boxing and physical training," Andrea remembers.
The rest, as they say, is history. Andrea's commercial below for Apple Watch has been viewed more than 2 million times on tv and online. Today, Andrea continues to star in guest appearances at Apple stores and related events like Global Accessible Awareness Day.
Andrea's Career Advice for Friends Who Roll
If you're just starting out in pursuit of your dream or professional career, Andrea has some helpful thoughts to keep in mind. She says, "You can take baby steps, and with the Internet, we can reach out to communities for support. You can find anyone on social media that could help or that has been in your situation. Find a message board or group, post a question. Start somewhere."
While some careers can seem intimidating or unattainable to someone who uses a wheelchair because of the physical demands, Andrea doesn't believe they're out of reach. You may have to fight some battles, take on outdated stereotypes to change some perceptions and possibly question your end goal during the journey. But Andrea believes if you can commit to being your own best advocate, you too can succeed.
"If anyone else feels like they want to reach something that they don't know if they can reach, like I once felt, just try. And never listen if someone tells you no, just look for another way," she emphasizes.
Meet Andrea Dalzell at the Abilities Expo
We invite you to meet Andrea in person during the upcoming New York Metro Abilities Expo that will take place May 3-5, 2019. Get your free ticket here to gain admission to the must-see event.
When you do, you'll thousands of people who enjoy the lifestyle resources and helpful products they discover at the Expo.
Andrea will be appearing in the Cure Medical booth #516 alongside adaptive ski instructor Chris Collin. She's more than happy to discuss your career questions along with offering perspective on her Cure catheter of choice.
She says, "As a nurse, I had to start caring about the medical supplies I was using, so I could be in the best position to suggest products to patients. Often, we're not taught to be big advocates about our own bodies and the products we use, plus we aren't usually screened enough."
Her commitment to health is one of the main reasons why Andrea was so glad she discovered Cure Medical intermittent catheters that aren't made with scary chemicals like DEHP/DINP, BPA or Natural Rubber Latex. The look and convenience of Cure's products are a big plus for her, too.
Andrea says, "I am loving the Cure Twist. It's so easy to use and throw away. And, besides, the packaging is pretty!"
To request free samples of the Cure Twist® or any Cure Medical catheter, contact your local provider of quality healthcare products, or click here. We look forward to meeting you at the Expo!Pre-Register for Abilities Expo Today...It's Free!