From Grey’s Anatomy to Nurse Jackie or even ER, you have all seen the roles of nurses portrayed through television. Of course they wear scrubs, shiny white shoes and a stethoscope, but it is important to understand the daily mindsets of our community nurses.
A registered nurse attains their position by accomplishing either a two year Associate’s Degree or a four year Bachelor’s Degree. An RN can further their education, with a Master’s Degree, in order to become a Nurse Practitioner or a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.
RN’s aid physicians in taking care of patients who have various medical needs and/or conditions. They may administer medication, monitor patient recovery and progress, and educate patients and their families on disease prevention and post-hospital treatment.
Currently, there are 2,824,641 registered nurses in the United States. While there are a variety of jobs for nurses, the mindsets of them seem to stay within the same boarders.
Omega Hospital of Metairie, La. takes pride in hiring nurses “with credible nursing experience, excellent interpersonal communication skills with their patients and strong patient advocacy,” said the charge nurse of Omega, Karen Rousselle, RN, BSN. Though, regardless of these requirements, this hospital’s nursing staff seems to go above and beyond all expectations.
Nurses at Omega Hospital all take extreme pride in their jobs and the best overall care of their patients, even in the most stressful of situations. “It can be nerve racking, but my first thought when an emergency situation arises is always that we give the best care possible, and I always pray for a good outcome,” said Rebecca Field, an RN at Omega.
Patients are in good hands at this hospital being that the staff is able to connect with their patients’ lives and well being. “Due to a low patient to nurse ratio where I work, I can give my patients more one on one care,” affirmed Stephanie Laux, another RN at Omega.
Aside from these lighter aspects of nursing, both Rebecca and Stephanie shared the more challenging sides of their job. For instance, “My first two years as a nurse, my stomach was in knots on the way to work – worrying about the responsibility of monitoring someone’s life,” said Laux. She further explained how important it was to her that she takes the best care of her patients and carries out her job to her upmost abilities.
Nursing can, at times, be uncomfortable as well. “It is very awkward when you have a patient who is non-compliant with their care; it can be very frustrating because you feel like you are not doing your job,” shared Field. She also noted that it took her a couple years of being a nurse to adjust and refocus with patients like so.
Every day is different on the job for a nurse. It is hard to prepare for a shift when they are unable to predict their next patient’s needs. It is also difficult to know when an emergency situation will arise and what precautions and/or procedures they need to take in order to provide the best outcome for their patients. “When I worked in the medical ICU at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, I participated in several codes, along with a team, where some patients survived and some did not,” stated Laux. She added that these more challenging parts of her job are also responsible for morphing her into the caring and reliable nurse that she is today.
Clearly, some of the more difficult parts of nursing are the pressures of taking the best care of sickly patients, emergency situations and non-compliant patients. Though, there are several things that aid in minimizing these challenging areas of the job. “I’ve worked plenty nursing jobs, but Omega is by far my favorite. The staff I work with has been together over eight years – which helps us function as an extremely cohesive team; the doctors also show us a lot of trust in taking care of their patients, and we enjoy their presence on our floor,” said Laux. It is important to have a hospital environment where both the doctors and nurses respect, enjoy and challenge one another.
Both nurses shared their most memorable experience on the job. “My first week at this hospital, I walked into my patients room and immediately tripped, causing the patient to burst out into laughter. I was so embarrassed,” said Field. They were quick to add that regardless of the hard times, their jobs are rewarding for the most part. Almost every day they are able to go home knowing they helped a sickly person regain their health.
Nurses are heroes. They do their part, every day, to ensure ourselves and our loved ones are taken care of. It is nurses like Rebecca and Stephanie, of Omega Hospital in Metairie, La., who help portray the realities of being a nurse. Nurses are the “moms” of our community – taking care of patients like they would their own children.