I Am WMC: Amanda Messmer, C.N.A., patient advocate
By Kristy Bleizeffer Jun 9, 2021
Amanda Messmer knew she wanted to work in health care from a very young age. Her mother was a certified nursing assistant while her grandmother was a medical assistant. She wanted a career where she could be helpful, so she followed in her mother’s footsteps and earned her nursing assistant certification 27 years ago.
Now, as a patient advocate, she spends every shift helping patients and families any way she can.
Put simply, the job of a patient advocate is to help patients and families cope with a sometimes confusing and overwhelming hospital stay. They are problem solvers, freeing up patients to concentrate on getting better. Advocates fetch coffee and help fill out complicated paperwork. They find answers to questions and go shopping for patients who don’t have a change of clothes before discharge. This fall, Amanda helped organize a wedding for a dying patient who wanted only to remarry the love of his life.
“My job is to try to make their stays as pleasant as I can while they are here. I try to take away some of the stress of a hospital stay,” she said.
Amanda visits patients each shift just to make sure their stay is going as expected. One day, she might be working through concerns about the COVID-era visitor policy while facilitating conversations between physicians and family members the next. During the pandemic, she’s worked to connect COVID patients with their families over Facetime and Zoom and help them to understand the necessary restrictions to keep families and staffers safe.
Amanda has worked at Banner Wyoming Medical Center for 15 years. She started on the Transitional Care Unit and transferred to the Progressive Care Unit about 10 years ago. She’s been a patient advocate for about eight years.
“I just really love being able to help people. I know that sounds very cliche, but I really do love it,” she said.
She is now attending nursing school through Casper College and expects to be pinned on her birthday in 2023.
“I’m very proud to be able to work at Banner Wyoming Medical Center,” she said. “I am proud not only of the work that I do, but that all of us do. I see the care we provide every day. This is where I would want my own family to be treated.”