Why did you become a nurse?
I grew up in my neighborhood around a lot of older people. When the neighbors needed something done, I would do it because we lived right down the street from the store. I would drive on my bicycle and get what they needed. And when they got sick, I would do things for them. So I just kind of gravitated toward that. I’ve tried other jobs, but I’ve always gravitated back towards some kind of nursing and the healthcare field.
What brought you to JRMC?
I had been a nurse a long time, but most of it was spent in long-term care. I started off as a CNA, went to the school for LPN, became an RN, became an assistant director, and then I became a director. So I had pretty much reached every level in the nursing department that you could go to in long-term care, and I wanted something different. I decided to come to JRMC, and Mrs. Marva LaGrant gave me my first opportunity of being a new nurse in the hospital.
You’ve worked nights ever since you started your job at JRMC. What do you enjoy about working the night shift?
The night shift is almost like a little family, because we basically know each other over all departments in the hospital. We’re close knit on nights, so if we need something from somewhere we know where to go or who to call to get that information. I love nights.
What is your relationship like with your coworkers?
We have an awesome group of nurses on 3 Center West. I’ve been in places where the camaraderie is not there, and you can tell. But at JRMC, we work together. We’ll pitch in and help when you see somebody needing something. We don’t say, ‘those are your patients so it’s not my job to help.’ I like the teamwork we have going on.
How does having good relationships with your coworkers affect patient care?
Having team members that work together affects patient care a lot. For instance, if you have a patient or group of patients and you’re tied up caring for them and your other patient is in need, your team member can take care of that patient for you. I think it’s good when people that work together really work together. Patients make remarks about that – about our teamwork and how we work together. I might go into a room and that patient has never seen me, but I introduce myself and say, ‘I’m a nurse. Your nurse is tied up, but I’ll come in and take care of this for her until she gets there.’ They’re like, ‘really?’ I’m like, ‘yeah, we do that!’ I like 3 Center West. It’s one of the floors that we really learn to work together, and we work well together.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received about nursing?
We had a secretary when I worked on 3 Center East that gave me some of the most valuable information I think I’ve ever received concerning a job before. She said, “Listen, I know you like what you do. You’re good at what you do, but you’ve got to lighten up a little bit. You’re so serious about everything. That’s okay, but sometimes lighten up a little bit! Choose your battles carefully.”
And I was that way. I was that kind of nurse. I wanted to get things done and get them done right. And sometimes it just doesn’t work like that. You have to take your time, work with it and perfect it until it gets to where you can say, ‘okay, now this is good enough.’
I smile a lot anyway. I’m always smiling, but I’ve just learned to just be easy going. And it helps – it really works.
How important is positivity in your job?
It’s really important to be positive. First of all, it’s important for you. Negativity brings about negativity. I’ve learned that. A negative plus a negative is going to equal negative, and I don’t care how you put it. So when you have a chance to give input in a job situation, make sure your input is not negative. Make sure its something positive that could push something forward instead of bringing things backwards. Sometimes things get a little hectic and tough. If you have time to sit down and think things out then talk about it with somebody really listening and say, “I think this could have been done better,” then it’s a lot better and people will receive it better. That turns a negative situation into something positive, because both parties have something to look forward to.
What is the most fulfilling part of your job at Jefferson Regional Medical Center?
My favorite – and most fulfilling – part of my job is just caring for my patients; knowing that I’ve done the best I could do for them. I like to go home knowing that I’ve done everything I could for my patients, and now I’ve passed their care onto somebody else. That’s the fulfilling part of it. And I trust my coworkers enough to pass my patients onto them.