NANTICOKE — With a mother who taught high school music and a father who taught college theater, small wonder Kyra Yezefski first appeared on stage when she was 6, and has been in “10 or 15” productions in her 28 years. The bigger question may be, how did she end up not only working as a nurse, but being so good at it.
“I love science and I love music,” she explained. “Theater is a hard career to make a living at, but I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do in science.”
After graduating from Greater Nanticoke Area High School (where her mother taught) in 2008, she tried going to Wilkes University (where her father taught) to study biology. But something didn’t quite click, until she decided to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. She liked it so much she went back to school, this time in the nursing program at Wilkes-Barre Area Career and Technical Center, and hasn’t looked back.
“At Guardian Elder Care, a big part of my day is handling the medicines, taking vital signs, assessing the residence day to day, doing any kinds of treatment that needs to be done,” she said. “But really, my favorite part is just talking to them, spending time with them.”
In fact, becoming a nurse meant she got less of that. “The hall was split between three CNAs. As a nurse, you have responsibility for all 28 people. It can get pretty busy.”
Yezefski said she enjoys hearing what the residents have to say.
“A lot of times they want to tell you about what they did in their lifetime. Sometimes they just want to talk about what’s going on that day. A lot of them don’t have families that come around. The nurses and CNAs that work there, they really look forward to seeing us.”
Though she’s only been a nurse since December, Yezefski clearly feels the calling, and has no plans to look for another career. She expects to advance her training and eventually become a Registered Nurse. “Probably within the next year I’ll get started,” she said, “but right now I’m content where I am.”
Of course, she still loves music, and she still sings every chance she gets. “My favorite Broadway show is Into the Woods, followed by Le Miz or maybe Wicked,” she said. “I also love Whitney Houston.”
But she doesn’t feel as strong an urge to return to the stage as she does to help the people she now serves, despite the fact that she started showing up in her father’s productions of Shakespeare plays when she was around 6 years old, albeit without any speaking part — or really much of a part at all.
“I was shy as a young kid, I didn’t want to talk. Dad made these signs and I’d walk across the stage with them,” announcing the start of the next act, say.
Yezefski heaps high praise on her husband, a high school sweetheart who shared the stage with her in productions of Carousel, Into the Woods and Guys and Dolls. He now works as a lighting and sound designer for Effects Unlimited in Pittston.
“He paid for my education, for all the stuff I needed,” she said. Which may be why her favorite Whitney Houston tune is “I have nothing.”
“Share my life, take me for what I am, ‘Cause I’ll never change all my colors for you …”
Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish