Paper names Stacy Baker one of Wyoming's Top Nurses
By Kristy Bleizeffer May 6, 2020
“Stacy is trained to offer bereavement care to families who suffer a loss of a newborn/infant. Over the year I have known her, she has worked with families of babies who were born too early, were not born alive, and those who have passed away too young. She comforts families, offers to take pictures of their infant, makes foot and/or hand castings for families to remember their sweet child. She does this all from a place of compassion and of respect for the love these families have for the child they lost.” — Kate Buffa
Congratulations to Stacy Baker, R.N., for being named one of Wyoming's Top Nurses by the Casper Star-Tribune.
In celebration of National Nurses Week, the Casper Star-Tribune selected 10 Wyoming nurses for the honor, and eight of them work at Wyoming Medical Center.
Stacy is a labory and delivery/nursery nurse on the Mother and Baby Unit, and she was nominated by her coworker, Kate Buffa.
"Stacy works as a substitute instructor at Casper College because she loves her profession so much and she is committed to bringing up the next generation of nursing," Kate wrote in her nomination letter.
Read more about Stacy and her career in the interview below.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A NURSE, AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED AT WYOMING MEDICAL CENTER?
I have been a nurse for 16 years. I started working at WMC in 2003 as a CNA on the neurology floor. After graduating from the Casper College nursing program in 2004, I continued working as an RN on Neuro. In 2006, I transferred to my dream job on Labor and Delivery!
What type of nursing do you practice? What does that entail? Why did you want to become this type of nurse?
I have worked Labor and Delivery for the last 13 1/2 years, and about a year and a half ago I also trained to work in the nursery. My job entails taking care of women through labor and delivery as well as newborn babies and couplet care when they are on our Mother Baby unit.
We see the most miraculous moments in life as well as some of the hardest. After I had my first child, I was in awe of the amazing nurses that were there with me through such a hard, yet amazing time in my life and I knew that I wanted to be able to be that person for other women as they became mothers.
I also sub for the Natrona County School District and the Casper College nursing program. While I was getting my Bachelor of Science in Nursing, I did a clinical rotation with a school nurse and really enjoyed the kids and the different type of nursing. I knew I would enjoy being able to substitute at some point and was able to start a few years ago. I started subbing for Casper College a few years ago as well, and it has been such a great experience. It is a privilege to be able to teach future nurses and hopefully instill in them a love of nursing no matter where they may end up!
When did you first become interested in medicine, and why did you decide to become a nurse?
Growing up, I can remember wanting to be in the CIA and a secondary science teacher and then maybe a social worker. I became interested in medicine about 19 years ago and knew I wanted to be a Labor and Delivery nurse.
Do other members in your family work in health care?
I actually have multiple family members who have worked in health care. My mom, Judy, was a nurse at WMC for multiple years. My uncle, Mike, maternal grandmother and aunt, Ann, are and were all nurses.
What is your favorite part of the job, and what are some challenges you face?
My favorite part of my job, gosh so many things! I love my patients! With labor and delivery, we can create a strong bond in 12 hours and it is so awesome and rewarding to be a part of their experience here.
My coworkers are also my favorite! They are some of the most amazing, talented, funny, caring, smart people I know!
There are challenges here as well. When we have a bad outcome or stressful delivery, it can take a lot out of us mentally and physically.
What does it take to be a good nurse, in your opinion?
To be a good nurse, I’d say it takes teamwork; knowledge of your chosen area; willingness to learn and be humble; knowing when to advocate for your patient, yourself and your coworkers; a willingness to admit when you are wrong or have made a mistake; knowing when to ask for help; being a problem solver; and be able to laugh and have fun at work while knowing when its time to get down to business.
What advice would you give new nurses or those considering a career in nursing?
I would tell them it can be a very rewarding career as well as a hard one. There are so many areas you can go into with nursing so it is a very versatile field. Keep learning! Knowledge is power and there is always something you can learn to keep you excited and engaged.
Do you still like being a nurse?
I still love being a nurse! I love being at the bedside with my patients. I love teaching them about labor, delivery and their new baby. I love the people I work with. I love learning more about my chosen field as well as other areas. I love teaching new nurses.
As a regional referral center, Wyoming Medical Center covers about 250,000 Wyoming lives. We protect the health of our friends, neighbors, community and state. How does this make you feel?
Thats a huge responsibility. This is a humbling thought but also a great reminder for myself and hopefully others that we are taking care of someone's loved one, someone's mom, daughter, wife, or child. If it were my family member, I would want someone to care for them how I would. This is something I try to do and I see my coworkers doing everyday. I am proud to work at The Birth Place at WMC!
How does it make you feel to know that a colleague or patient nominated you for this honor?
This is very humbling to know someone thought about me enough to nominate me. Thank you so very much!
Anything else you'd like to add or would like your colleagues to know?
I want my colleagues to know they are amazing and I'm glad we are in this work life together! Everyone one of us do amazing things every day and that’s what makes it so awesome to work with all of you.
WYOMING MEDICAL CENTER'S TOP NURSES
Eight of the 10 Top Nurses honored by the Casper Star-Tribune in 2020 are from Wyoming Medical Center. Read their interviews in the links below.