Nurses are people just like any of us. They have kids and families of their own. They go to movies, and take their dogs for walks. One thing, they all have in common in the desire to help other people. To celebrate Nurses Week which starts today and goes until next Tuesday May 12th, we talked to some of them about their experiences and why they do what they do.
Laurie Carlyle is a wound care and ostomy nurse for a 100-bed hospital in Douglasville, Georgia and she says that the most rewarding thing about the profession she’s called home for 24 years is seeing the power of medicine and healing.
Gayle Jameson, Director of Clinical Nursing for Devon Medical Products agrees with Carlyle. Jameson has seen everything from severe dog bites to gaping abdominal wounds and patients who have healed. The patient with the dog bite had financial issues and had just gotten a new job and needed to work.
“The size and portability of our pump (extriCARE negative pressure wound therapy) allowed her to continue mobility and her employment while her wound healed.”
Since Jameson was a child, she was always told she should be a nurse and has followed that career path for 30+ years now.
Like any job though, it isn’t always easy and both Carlyle and Jameson have different struggles in their careers. For Carlyle, it’s medical complications from wounds like fistulas and stomas. A stoma is a surgically created opening on the abdomen which allows feces or urine to exit the body. A fistula is an abnormal connection between an organ, vessel, or intestine, and another structure. However, both Carlyle and Jameson struggle with dealing with frustrated patients.
“Nurses are not the reason you are in the hospital. Nurses are not the reason you are sick. Nurses want to help you, not make you hurt, “Carlyle said.
Jameson said it’s difficult to plan care for a frustrated patient stuck in the hospital.
“Often there is no easy solution but multiple pieces to find a solution to meet the individual patient’s needs,” Jameson said.
Kathie Paulo, a home care nurse from Atlanta agreed with Jameson. Paulo said it sometimes is challenging to help patients who might have limited resources available to them for different reasons.
She doesn’t let that stop her though.
“Sometimes it’s a challenge to offer the best care when you cannot get what you need. It’s about getting creative,” Paulo said.
Despite the frustration and the almost 100 years of experience between the three women, there is a shared love of a profession dedicated to helping people in their most vulnerable times.
“So many patients have touched me over the years,” Carlyle said.“I am so grateful and humbled to be able to be a small part of their life.”
For Paulo, whose patients are mostly elderly, it’s as simple as a birthday party invite.
“I have been invited to more 90th birthday parties than I can count,” stated Paulo.
Devon Medical Products is proud to celebrate with Jameson, Carlyle, Paulo, and all the nurses who help patients in need every day.
For a list of special offers, freebies, and discounts for nurses during Nurses Appreciation Week 2015, including free Cinnabons, Dunkin Donuts iced coffee, and discounted pizza visit http://gimmiefreebies.com/nurses-appreciation-week-2015/.
Comment below with your own nurse stories or your expressions of gratitude for all these brave men and women do.