National Nurses Week: Why I am a nurse

By Kristy Bleizeffer May 9, 2016

National Nurses Week is May 6-12. It’s a great excuse (as if you needed one) to thank nurses for all they do to care for our community and our state.

We asked several of our nurses two questions: “Why are you a nurse?” And, “What does good patient care mean to you?”

Their answers demonstrate the remarkable care and compassion our nurses provide our patients every day and on every shift. We’ve shared a selection of their answers below. If you haven’t already, take a few moments this week to thank a nurse for doing what they do. 

Linda Engen, GI lab, 5 years in nursing

I am a nurse because I love people. I want them to feel better and to be able to live long,  fulfilling and healthy lives.

I like being a GI nurse because we fix people. We do procedures that save lives every day. Whether it be a preventative measure or stopping a GI bleed, what we do matters to the lives of the patients we come into contact with. I continue to work overtime and long shifts because people don't know when they will have problems and it is not always Monday through Friday, 8 to 5. I try to live my life as if I am not on call, even when I am. My family understands that if I am on call, I may need to leave and they understand that what I do is important.

Good patient care means treating people like family and using critical thinking during procedures to be my very best. 

Jennifer Gallagher, Mother & Baby, 18 years in nursing

I started working at WMC when I was 17, and I was NOT going to be a nurse —ever.  I had no interest in any way.  Twenty-four years later, I can't imagine doing anything different.  God put me on this path for many reasons.  Some of which have been revealed to me, others have not.  But, I look forward to every day. Not a day goes by that I regret becoming an RN.  I cherish every one of my nursing experiences.  I have most definitely found my calling working with women and babies. 

Good patient cares means accepting the "challenge" with determination and confidence to get the job done effectively for that individual family.  Delivering babies is a blessing and a miracle every single time.  The process never ceases to amazing me. When I can assist a new mom through her fear and uncertainty while including the family in all aspects of their care, I feel I have accomplished good patient and family care. 

Jennifer Straight, Operating Room, 20+ years in nursing

When I was in the military, I was given the option of the Operating Room and thought of “M.A.S.H.” I’ve been in the Operating Room since 1984, and I love that this area is consistently improving the ways we do surgeries or procedures.

I love taking care of patients to return them to their activities of daily living. I love to interact with families and help them understand what is going on with their loved ones.

Monica Averett, Medical unit, 13 years in nursing

I love being a nurse , watching the interventions we put in place help someone feel better, regain their health or at least bring comfort to them and their families. I can't think of any more rewarding or satisfying profession!

To me, good patient care means taking into account the patient's beliefs and values when trying to teach them something new, always being an advocate for them even in the most difficult of situations and providing them with a sense of confidence in you as their caregiver.

Jan Nixon, Chief Nursing Officer, 30+ years in nursing

I decided on this profession after working in a nursing home while in high school.  I knew I wanted to make a difference and improve the care provided to those most vulnerable.  I chose to further my education and work experience to become a nursing executive.  In this role, I am able to work with physicians, staff, patients, families and legislators to create positive changes in the care we provide as health care changes.  The best part about nursing as a career is that you may choose several different paths with the nursing credentials.  I have been a staff nurse, manager, director, chief nursing officer, chief executive officer and university educator!  I have loved every journey of my career.

Excellent patient care means ensuring patients are put first in our thoughts, ensuring safe, quality care is provided through collaboration and coordination with other disciplines.

Dellane Sample, OR Heart Team Coordinator, 33 years in nursing

I wanted to be a nurse since I was a small child, and I’ve been one for 33 years, "saving lives and stamping out disease."  I love helping people understand the disease process and helping them get better. 

Susan Balfour, Progressive Care Unit and Natrona County School District, 37 years in nursing

Being a nurse means you can work in the environment you want, have a client base of the type of patients you love and work hours that mesh with personal preference, family obligation, and life in general. What other job offers so many options as well as providing new challenges every day along a career path with unlimited opportunities?  I did not go to college knowing that I wanted to be a nurse, but I am very thankful that I became a nurse.

Good patient care means taking the time to talk to your patient and listen to their concerns. It is providing individualized care based on a broad scope of knowledge and recognizing health concerns from "A" to "Z" that often times are not verbally communicated by the patient.  

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