Your Healthy Community: Nurses are a vital part of health care
I wanted to be a nurse when I was a little girl. I was a nurse the Halloween that I was 6 years old. I considered it when searching hard for a college major and a life plan.
In the end, social work pulled me in, and I was glad because I'm not into finding veins or taking blood pressure.
For many reasons, I really appreciate our nursing team at AARN, and I appreciate all the nurses in our health community. I especially appreciate their ability to work with fluids and wounds because I am not into this either.
I interact daily with many nurses of different licensing levels, experience from different fields and very different personalities. It seems to me that nurses can have a good sense of humor that carries them through times that can be difficult at work and long hours. Sometimes, working in health care is a little like the show "Scrubs."
The nurses I work with are very caring. As I see them interact with patients, it is evident that their profession seems to fit them.
Courtney Meyer has been a registered nurse for seven years. She has worked in home health care for four years and has worked in hospitals and in hospice.
I asked Meyer why she works in home health care. "Oftentimes, home health care can identify certain patient needs that haven't been seen in other health care settings," she said.
Meyer said she enjoys helping patients become more independent through home health care nursing. "Patients get my undivided attention when I'm caring for them at home, and I'm able to build a strong rapport with them," she said. Meyer loves being a nurse because she is able to help people and make a difference in their lives. She enjoys interacting with patients, assessment, treatment and wound care. "Actually, there's not much I don't like about nursing," she said.
Meyer said nurses are a vital part of health care. Nurses affect the overall well-being of patients, and nurses can be the biggest access to medical care for homebound people.
Nurses can help doctors and patients not miss important information.
Meyer said she feels appreciated as a nurse when she sees the difference in a patient's health or when she sees evidence of what she has taught a patient - something they wouldn't know otherwise.
Once she was treating a patient with a wound vacuum-assisted closure. She educated this patient to watch for blood going into the canister. The patient had multiple wounds and ended up needing to be in a facility for more intense treatment. Because of what Meyer taught him, he was able to identify and report that his wound vac was malfunctioning in the facility.
Here is Meyer's advice to new nurses or anyone thinking of becoming a nurse:
If you don't know, look it up.
Treat your patients like you would want to be treated.
Don't go into nursing for the money.
Be ready to work hard.
Take nursing school one day at a time. It's not hard, just time consuming.
Don't ever stop learning.
Pay attention to the patient. You can learn in unexpected places from unexpected people.
Happy Nurses Month.
Katie Sciba is a writer, a licensed social worker, a pastor's wife and a mother from Victoria. She works for AARN Health Services and blogs online at Always Simply Begin.