By Julie Walter
For Ashley-Marie Bodor, the best part of her job is helping patients have a second chance at life.
Bodor is a double Gator who graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in health science (B.H.S.) from the College of Public Health and Health Professions in 2013, and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the College of Nursing in 2014. Now she works at UF Health Shands Hospital as a lung transplant nurse coordinator.
Bodor volunteered in a nursery when she was 14 and fell in love with health care. She knew then that she would end up working in health care. Initially, she wanted to be a pediatrician or a physician assistant, but when she found nursing, she never looked back.
As a lung transplant coordinator, Bodor helps take care of patients after they’ve had their transplant. She is the patient’s direct line to the lung transplant team by advocating for their health care needs.
Her role includes helping patients navigate the complicated medical regimen they need to follow after such a complex surgery. She also manages their lab tests, makes sure they go to their follow-up appointments, and helps triage their needs if they are sick.
Bodor works with an interdisciplinary team of doctors, lung transplant pulmonologists, other nurse coordinators, nurse practitioners and social workers to help ensure the patient’s success.
She finds her job to be very rewarding and she experiences a lot of special moments with her patients.
“Just watching them be able to breathe without oxygen for the first time after the surgery,” Bodor said. “They are so grateful for the most basic things in life.”
The B.H.S. program taught her about the health field from a diverse perspective and gave her a good foundation in the health care system that prepared her for her job today, Bodor said.
“I feel like I learn something every day and all of that started at the College of Public Health and Health Professions,” Bodor said. “I’m just really grateful for all of the opportunities the college has given me. It has been a gateway to my professional career.”
Bodor hopes to continue to grow and learn every day in her career as a lung transplant coordinator. She also hopes to lead a balanced life where she can continue taking care of people and bringing them joy.