Where do you Work: Mercy Health-Urbana Hospital Emergency Department
Describe what your day is like/what you do: I work in the emergency department taking care of patients with various illnesses and injuries ranging from minor to life threatening. A typical shift usually involves triaging,monitoring and assessing patients. Drawing blood, placing IVs, administering medicine, performing EKGs, placing splints and orthopedic devices on patients, and assisting physicians with various procedures. Taking care of a patient's physical needs is one part, and we provide mental health support as well. Of course the duties of a registered nurse go well beyond what I mentioned but these are the most common things that occur each shift.
What inspired you to get into health care? I have always had the want to help others. I get great satisfaction in knowing that what I did for someone made a positive impact on them or their outcome. Whether it was a patient, a family member, a classmate, an animal or a stranger. You name it and I am willing to step in. I have been surrounded my whole life by folks who were always willing to step in and help another person in need. Watching my parents, sisters, grandparents and people in my own community be unselfish and step in to help others made me want to be that sort of person, too.
Health Care Hero: ‘I became a nurse to make a difference’
What's a memorable experience you've had in health care? There are many moments that you reflect on from time to time as a nurse. Those memories can range from sad, scary, funny and just downright odd. I will always remember a horrible winter night during an ice storm when we had multiple critical patients in our ED and no way to get them transported out until the morning. Night shift leaves you with a bare bones crew when you work at a critical access hospital. For the few staff that were there that night, we relied on each other, worked together and made it through until the morning. That shift tested my ability to critically think and endure.
What do you want readers to know about your job right now? Medical workers and first responders are doing all that they can to keep you safe and to help you during the pandemic. We are working very hard and understand that this can be a scary time for some people. We appreciate all of the support that we have received from our families and communities. Just remember though, we may have a difficult time taking the compliment because we don't feel like heroes, we just feel like we are doing what needs to be done.
Health Care Hero: ‘I really love my job’