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Tulsa World Supplement, Sunday, May 6, 2018

Nurses Day Celebrating these compassionate professionals who touch our lives

ª Emergency ª PEDIATRIC ª Neonatal ª Oncology ª SURGICAL ª CARDIAC CARE ª ICU

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Where expertise meets compassion For most of my life, my mom has been a “medical hot mess.” She has always struggled with her health. When the doctor would say, “There’s only a 2 percent chance of that happening,” they were talking about my mom. Watching her journey was not only hard but also frustrating. I wanted to help, but I didn’t know how. As a nurse, I knew I would be better equipped to not only understand the situation but also gain the knowledge and skills to help her. Nursing is so much more than taking care of sick people; it’s an avenue to see and serve them. Everyone has a story and a purpose. Getting to play a part in both, by making a positive difference, is what it’s all about. Nursing can be such a rewarding career! It is challenging, both personally and professionally. It is not only interesting but also offers a variety of work settings and specialties. It presents opportunities to serve people during their brightest and darkest times. It fosters an environment to make a difference. It equips and empowers people through education. Mindy Utica Park Clinic I always had such great respect and admiration for my aunt who was a nurse. She worked for our only small town physician and commonly made home visits to check on their patients. On occasion, I would accompany her to a patient’s home and see her in action, providing whatever care they might need. She provided wound care, educated on diet and disease processes, counseling, and, sometimes, she would just make a visit to check on someone’s well-being, as they had not been in the office for a while. She did so much for our community, and I saw how respected and valued she was. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be like her. Helping others at their most vulnerable state brings satisfaction beyond words, and I have never regretted the decision to become a nurse. To me, being a nurse is a calling to serve others in their time of need, providing comfort and support to both patient and family. I enjoy being a nurse navigator. Nursing is a very rewarding career and offers so many different job opportunities. I would encourage others to consider a career in nursing if they feel passionate about helping others. Shannon Cancer Treatment Centers of America I wish I had a great story to tell about why I became a nurse. I actually didn’t want to be a nurse; I wanted to be a school teacher. I couldn’t stand the sight of blood or needles. In fact, when I advised my family that I had changed my major to nursing, they thought I was kidding and laughed at me. I owe my career choice to a very good friend of mine. She said “Do it with me, it’ll be fun,” and I reluctantly followed along. I have no regrets and know this is my calling. Nursing is who I am. A memorable moment for me during my nursing career is as a family member of a patient. It could’ve been a miserable experience, but the staff always went above and beyond to ensure not only the patient but we as the family were comfortable and well taken care of. At the time I was a nursing extern and still in school and these acts of kindness and exemplary nursing care set the standard for my own nursing practice. There are so many advantages and avenues in nursing. I would highly encourage the field of nursing as a career for others. No matter where your passion is, there is a field for you. From cardiology to informatics to hospice to educator, there are endless possibilities with nursing. Nurses have a positive impact on other people’s lives and are supported by many organizations. Penny Oklahoma Heart Institute

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I have many memories in my nursing career that have touched my heart, but one especially always reminds me of why I became a nurse. A patient was frustrated about her illness, tearful and somewhat angry. I held her hand and listened as she cried and released her emotions, proclaiming that she was always the strong one, not the cry baby that was sitting in front of me. When she was through crying, I gently sat down and held her hand and explained to her that it was okay to cry, it was okay to be mad, it was okay to be sad, it was okay to be angry ... to feel. I explained that we are all human, and it was okay not to be strong all the time. I didn’t realize at the time the impact it would have on her. The next day as I entered into her room, she cried tears of gratitude, thanking me for taking the time to listen and allowing her to feel like it was okay to be vulnerable. Within those 20 minutes I had changed her life. This is truly why I am a nurse. To heal and to make a difference in the lives of those I come into contact with. I am blessed. Kimberly OSU Medical Center I initially started out my career not as a nurse, but as a firefighter. As noble an occupation as firefighting is, I began to have doubts that it was the right career path for me. So, I prayed about it and, before long, I felt the Lord was leading me to pursue a nursing career. I thought I would enjoy being a nurse, but I had no idea just how much. I’ve been a hospice nurse for nearly eight years, and I feel there is nothing as gratifying as serving others. Prior to hospice, I spent seven years in long-term nursing, meaning I worked in a nursing home. During that time, I worked for four years in an Alzheimer’s Unit, so I definitely feel I have a heart for patients and families who are faced with that situation, as well. In my role as a hospice nurse, I am there to educate family members on how best to make their loved one comfortable. In each instance, I try to spread a sense of calm, as well as provide insight and guidance. I am honored to help ease burdens patients and family members face during a very difficult time. Nursing is a multi-disciplinary practice. Regardless of the area in which a nurse serves, it is a profession that requires one’s physical, emotional or spiritual side and, more often than not, a bit of all. Josh Saint Francis Hospice While I was in college I became sick and had to be hospitalized. It was a very low point for me, and I was terrified. That first night in the hospital, my nurse recognized my fear and offered to sit at my bedside until I fell asleep. In that single act, she gave me hope when I felt hopeless and showed me that she was there to provide what I needed to get well. Her simple show of kindness was my motivation to become a nurse. I wanted to spend my life doing for others what she had done for me. Becoming a nurse is one of the best decisions I have ever made. Not many people can say that every day their job is to make a positive impact in the lives of others. Yes, it is an exceptionally demanding career, and there are days that are more difficult than others. However, I’ve found that in giving myself in service to others I have benefited tremendously. I have zero regrets. So, to anyone who is thinking about being a nurse, I say “Do it!” Become an everyday hero. You won’t regret it. Sheree “Jody” St. John Medical Center Growing up, I had always known I wanted to work in the medical field. Initially, my dream was to become a doctor, but, at the age of 26, I found myself without a degree working in a clerical position at a small hospital. During this time I worked closely with the ER staff. It was through them that I found my passion for nursing. These nurses not only provided inspiration but also encouraged me during

my journey through nursing school. Once I received my nursing degree I accepted a position in an ICU where I continue to work today as a clinical coordinator. One of the things that I love the most about nursing is how unpredictable and challenging it can be. I enjoy coming in each morning unsure of how the day will progress, but knowing at the end of it, I have made a difference in the lives of my patients and their families. Samantha OSU Medical Center Nursing seemed like the right fit for me because I love science, am curious about how the body works and love helping people. The fast pace, interesting scenarios and wide variety of career opportunities make it a field with a lot of options. I learned early on that it’s the little things that can really make a difference. I remember as a young nurse getting a patient a warm blanket and how happy it made her. She died later that morning, and I was so glad that I was able to help her feel comfortable. Nursing has helped me grow as a person, and I have met so many wonderful people along the way. Jamie Cancer Treatment Centers of America I became a nurse because I love helping and encouraging others. Nursing, to me, means being compassionate and advocating for others. I have too many special memories from my nursing career to pick just one. My favorite moments are when someone comes to me and tells me I made a difference for them. I would encourage others to pursue nursing as a career so they can lend their caring hand to touch and change the lives of others. It is the best career being able to know you are making a difference. Delia Hillcrest Hospital Cushing The nursing profession has always appealed to me because it encompasses not only science, but also the interpersonal nature of relationships. Throughout my 32 years as a nurse, I’ve always felt a sense of pride that nursing is considered a very honest and ethical profession. As a single mother, my career enabled me to provide for my children and be available for them after school as they were growing up. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to encourage others to pursue a nursing career. One person I knew really wanted to be a nurse, and I knew she would be wonderful in the profession. She became discouraged because she didn’t pass her initial entrance exam to a nursing program. I encouraged her to not give up and with some extra help she reapplied, passed the entrance exam and went on to achieve a bachelor’s and master’s degree in nursing. Nursing changed my life, and I have seen it change the lives of others. It’s a very challenging, but rewarding career. Linda Saint Francis Hospital I became a nurse because I always knew my whole life I wanted to work with people and help them somehow. I enjoyed learning about the body and how it worked so nursing was my perfect fit. It is such an honor to be able to be a part of people’s lives and get to witness the strength, courage, faith and love of patients while going through some very difficult times. I’m an LPN with CTCA in the breast center, and I have so many cherished moments. Nursing is the most rewarding and fulfilling career. Kristy Cancer Treatment Centers of America

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Why did I want to be a nurse? Honestly, I became a nurse to provide for my family. I was born in the United States Virgin Islands. My mom brought five of us to New York City when I was 15 so that we could have a better life. I was the first of my siblings to graduate both high school and college. Nursing was not my first choice. My first degree was in marketing, but that changed when my husband was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer. We had two small children, and I needed a profession that would allow me to care for my children and my husband when the time came that he could no longer be the breadwinner for our family. I soon found out that I enjoyed helping others. The profession has given me the opportunity to teach my children about sacrifices and how to turn a horrible life experience into something positive — for myself, my family and other people that I come into contact with. As I have grown and developed as a nurse, I have found it to be a profession that I would recommend to anyone seeking a rewarding and challenging career. It empowers you to discover your passion, whether it is caring for people at the end of life, the beginning of life or anywhere in between. The ability to interact with others on such an intimate level gives you a tremendous sense of accomplishment. Annette St. John Sapulpa Although I believe that nursing is a calling, not just a job, my story falls into the category of divine intervention. When I was young, an old doctor in town who liked my family got me a job with a new dentist in town. After a few years, I decided that I deserved a raise. I also decided that I deserved a washer and dryer. I asked the doctor for a raise and told him if I didn’t get it I was going to quit and go to school. That evening I told my husband that if we were too poor to get a washer and dryer, I would quit working and go to school. Long story short, I did not get a raise or a washer and dryer. Isn’t God great that way when guiding you!? I went to enroll in school, clueless. After a chat, my advisor decided that I would take one year of prep classes then go into nursing school. I have never looked back with regret and would not change that move. Nursing IS my calling. I would encourage young people interested to follow their hearts. You can make a difference just by acknowledging people with a friendly hello and asking if they need anything. Recently, a man and woman were walking into the hospital as I was leaving. I smiled and said, “Have a good evening.” The man looked back and said “You have a beautiful smile miss.” It doesn’t take much to make someone’s day a little better. Jerry OSU Medical Center I came from a medical career family so some would say that it “is in my blood.” I started as a certified nursing assistant, progressing to licensed practical nurse and then upward to registered nurse. All of these steps have elevated me to a rewarding career in a great service industry while making a difference in lives. Nursing has a variety of meanings to me. It provides the ability to extend myself for others while allowing the flexible schedule to allow work/life balance. There are many special memories after 40-plus years in this field but the two most important to me are the obtaining of Certification in Occupational Health Nurse - Specialist (COHN-S) and Certification in Infection Prevention (CIC). These two certifications allow expertise in both areas of nursing to care for and help both hospital staff and patients in different phases of life. I became a nurse to encourage and assist healing. As I have matured in nursing, different fields of nursing have presented themselves to me. I encourage nurses to extend their vision of nursing into occupational health, infection prevention, and safety and environmental nursing. Susan Cancer Treatment Centers of America I always wanted to be in health care. Growing up, I’d always been exposed to the nursing profession as my mother became an RN early in my life. I felt like being an RN would be very rewarding because I would be able to help people recover in some of the most vulnerable times of their lives. Nursing, to me, means everything. Nurses are at the bedside more than anyone else, which gives us the biggest opportunity to care for the patients and their needs, like we would hope and want our own family to be cared for. I have too many memorable moments to pinpoint just one. From being trained by a great preceptor nurse as I started my RN career to being a preceptor for other new nurses, and becoming a charge nurse on my unit to being thanked by patients and their families for tak-

ing great care of them and their loves ones, I have many memories in my short six years as an RN. Nursing is not for everyone, but I would say that if you want a stable career in which no two days/nights are the same, want to have the luxury to enjoy different specialties throughout a career while taking pride in giving great health care to your patients, then nursing is definitely a field to consider. Nurses care for patients and save lives on a daily basis, and, to me, that is a very rewarding experience. Tyler Hillcrest Medical Center I became a registered nurse over 25 years ago because I wanted a profession that would enable me to make positive contributions to society, as well as provide opportunities to continually learn and grow. Early in my career I was fortunate to work with pediatric patients and their families and discovered that, along with a mix of fun and challenge, caring for this group of people was deeply rewarding. Nursing means using your scientific and nursing knowledge, as well as your technical and interpersonal skills to advocate for the needs of patients and families. Nursing also means supporting patients as they strive to reach their best possible physical, mental and emotional health outcomes. As a nurse within the pediatric emergency department — and then later within the pediatric intensive care unit — I’ve been privileged to share some of the greatest joys and sorrows that families ever experience. As a pediatric nurse educator, I’ve been able to help support and shape nurses’ abilities to assess and provide needed patient- and family-centered care. As a quality improvement nurse, I am able to partner with nurses, physicians and other care team members to identify opportunities in which we might be able to design and implement changes that would result in improved healthcare delivery. Working to ensure children receive the care and support they need to thrive physically, mentally and emotionally is my passion. Nursing has provided not only opportunities to work with children and families and collaborate professionally with colleagues, but has also influenced my sense of purpose.” Kelly The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis My decision to jump into nursing was born out of a horrific childhood experience. When I was 11, I witnessed the death of a young man during a religious upheaval in my home country of Nigeria. At the time, it didn’t mean much to me. But as I grew older, I became more convinced that man could have lived if there had been health-care professionals around. That realization gave birth to a burning desire in me to become an emergency room/ trauma nurse. I started my nursing career as an intensive care unit (ICU) nurse and later transitioned to the emergency department (ED). Being in the ED has enabled me to apply all the skills I gleaned from working in the ICU to new critical situations. Since my first day as a nurse I have grown and learned, becoming more comfortable in my role as healer and patient advocate. The variety, complexity and humanity of the cases I encounter in the ED every day have served not only as an unbelievable educational experience but as a constant reminder that nursing is my calling. Through nursing, I have found a place where my personal passions blend seamlessly with my professional aspirations. The satisfaction that comes from knowing that I played a part in helping save a life, or make someone feel better, is inexplicable. Josh St. John Medical Center My initial foray into health care was chaplaincy. As a seminarian at Oral Roberts University, I did supervised ministry at Tulsa Regional Hospital (now OSU Medical Center). I went on to a one-year residency in Oklahoma City, providing pastoral care for three hospitals. After residency, I started at Tulsa Regional Hospital as the manager of pastoral care. My early years entailed hospital coverage 24/7/365. I was drawn to trauma: gunshot victims and all other manners of critical illness. Naturally I was drawn to critical care in the ER and ICU. Suffering was an opportunity to encounter people without barriers. I loved pastoral care. Yet I felt the need to pursue nursing. I did not expect much, but now I am stunned. I love nursing. I find opportunities to support patients and families emotionally and spiritually, but now I have the added privilege of caring for the whole person. It became my new calling. I started out as an ICU nurse. Now I work as a nursing coordinator in cardiac rehab. My team and I provide cardiac education and supervised exercise. Our patients have come out of depression, debility, nicotine addiction, lethargy and inactivity. They have become vibrant, active people constantly challenged to grow in health and as a person. I have seen many great transformations. One man had given up golf and his friends. In one month of exercise, a 2-hole golf day became an 18-hole day! He was beaming. Nursing is an opportunity to care for the whole person in tragedy and triumph. Darin OSU Medical Center

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I decided to become a nurse after traveling to Mexico with my church as a teenager. I realized I wanted to go into a career where I could help meet people’s needs on every level – physical, emotional and spiritual. I also wanted to do something that I could take anywhere in the world. There are very few jobs where you have the privilege of caring for someone in this life and at times helping usher them into the next. You laugh with people and cry with people. It’s very rewarding to know that you are that person’s biggest advocate while they are in your care. My most precious memories in nursing are of the times I have been able to sit and talk with my patients or pray with them. One moment that will always stick out in my mind is when I was attending the funeral of a patient of mine. He was very young when he passed, and I had formed a relationship with his family. I saw his mom in the lobby after the funeral was over, and when she saw me her face lit up. She said with tears in her eyes, “I prayed this morning that you would come.” She thanked me for caring for her son and for praying with her. I would encourage others to become nurses because, well, nursing is awesome!! Medicine is constantly changing, and you are always learning something new. You feel a sense of purpose in what you do, and it involves so many different skills. Gloria Cancer Treatment Centers of America Nursing has always captivated me because it’s a selfless profession that solely focuses on the well-being of others. As the eldest of four siblings, I’ve always taken a caring role towards others, and through nursing, I’m able to do just that in my professional life. As a nurse in a hospital setting, I often see how scary it can be for patients. Not only are they vulnerable and feeling poorly, but they’re swept away from their comfort zone into an unfamiliar environment. My purpose as a nurse is to help patients recover from their illness with respect and dignity. It’s a privilege to provide many small, yet vital, acts of caring — such as calming a confused patient, teaching a patient to self-inject insulin or helping someone to breathe a bit easier. And, although it sounds cliché, being able to make a difference in their lives is the ultimate reward. Nursing has allowed me to embark on a challenging journey accompanied with many unique experiences. Because of that, I can proudly say that I am truly satisfied with my choice of profession, and I encourage others to pursue nursing as a career. As Steve Jobs once said, “The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” Marlene The Heart Hospital at Saint Francis I became a nurse because I genuinely love caring for and serving others. I wanted to do something that would challenge and interest me, and make a tangible difference in people’s lives. Nursing means treating patients and colleagues with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect. It means staying educated on best practices to provide individualized care that improves quality of life, meeting not only physical needs but emotional, social and spiritual needs as well. I have a vast collection of special memories from my nursing career. Some of them make me laugh, some make me cry, some remind me to be grateful for the incredible work I’m so privileged to do, some reconnect me to my sense of purpose and meaning but all help to sustain my passion and energy to provide the care my patients need, expect and deserve. I would encourage others to become a nurse because it’s a profession that provides immense flexibility and diversity, as well as endless opportunities for both personal and professional growth. Tiffany Hillcrest Hospital Henryetta I knew from a young age this is what I wanted to do. I had always dreamed of becoming a nurse and would plan my study plan around that when I was in high school. When I got my pin, it was the proudest moment in my life! I wanted a profession that I loved to do and that didn’t seem like work — that is what nursing is to me. I can’t remember a day that I didn’t learn something new, meet someone new that needs my help or help a family. A special memory from my nursing career is the day I realized that the Emergency Department is where I was supposed to be, when I realized that I was part of an important team that saved lives each and every day. Nursing is such a great profession. If you are up to saving lives, being a counselor, being an advocate and, most of all, learning every day, this is the profession for you. You see people at their worst, and you get to help them. Theresa St. John Broken Arrow

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When I was a young girl, I never thought I would become a nurse, but I knew I loved helping others. Starting at the age of 14, I spent my summers first as a candy striper in the breast center at a local hospital. I also helped feed and played with the sensory stimulation children at Little Lighthouse and volunteered at Tulsa Senior Services by painting nails, helping with chair exercises and calling out answers to bingo. I studied studio art for several years after high school but discovered that it did not fulfill me. My dad is the one who encouraged me to become a nurse. I started as a certified nurse aide then worked full-time as a medical assistant while pursuing my LPN and RN degrees. My dad and my aunt were both diagnosed with cancer when I was in LPN school, and their cancer journeys are what inspired me to become an oncology nurse. I love outpatient infusion nursing because it gives me an opportunity to see patients on a regular basis and get to know them. I am truly thankful that I have the chance to do what I do. To me, nursing is more than a career, it is a purpose and an avenue to serve and love people. As an infusion nurse, I get to educate my patients on not only how to treat side effects from chemotherapy, but I get to help them with tips to prevent those side effects. I also get to laugh and listen to their stories. I get to help my patients celebrate milestones, like the completion of chemotherapy and remission, and sometimes I help mourn and grieve with those who have lost a loved one. Sarah Cancer Treatment Centers of America Nursing was not a childhood dream but a call. I wanted to be a lawyer or a doctor, but my family was against me being a lawyer. When I didn’t get my first entrance to enter a medical school I was not ready to miss another year as the entrance is taken once a year in my country, Nigeria. One night I had a dream of taking care of a friend as a qualified nurse. The next day I went and bought a nursing form, and here I am a registered nurse for 15 years and counting. Personally, nursing is a call not a profession. It is giving oneself to the service of others, meeting people at their lowest moments. Caring is inherent. I shy away from the limelight but prefer to work behind the scenes to make things move. I love late night rounds. At this time, many patients are alone, depressed and sad. Listening to them, talking with them, laughing and crying with them are not documented but surely make me fulfilled. You cannot give what you do not have, and to be a nurse you must be patient, caring, selfless, humble, compassionate, kind and much more. No two days in a nurse’s life are the same, and there is no fixed routine. Nursing to me is a privilege, a privilege to take care of a human being that I can’t create. Nursing is replacing “I” with “WE” to make a difference. Lawrencia OSU Medical Center I became a nurse because I’ve always been a person who loves to care for others. As a child I would pretend to be a nurse or a doctor when my mother was sick. I have always been a compassionate, empathetic person and believe nursing was my calling. Being a nurse means that you are a caregiver, advocate, leader, educator, lifesaver and a hero. People place their lives in nurses’ hands every day, trusting that we will do our best to care for them. I wake up and take on that responsibility every day I work, and I love every moment of it. A special memory from my nursing career is when I’d been caring for a patient on palliative care for a few nights. All the nights I had this patient were extremely busy. Throughout those nights I was doing everything I could to make sure this patient was comfortable while also caring for several other patients. The patient passed away during my shift. While I finishing up the patient’s chart in the early morning, five members of the patient’s family came up to the floor to thank me, and all, one by one, gave me a hug. I was physically and mentally exhausted, and I realized that my work makes a big difference for patients and their families. I would encourage others to become a nurse because it is an extremely rewarding career, and you never leave a day of work not making a difference in someone’s life. Alene Bailey Medical Center Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a desire to care for others. I grew up in the country and, since we always had a lot of animals, I had plenty of opportunities to take care of them in any way I could. When I was in high school, I loved science, so becoming a nurse 30 years ago was a natural for me. As assistant director of Perioperative Services, I take care of patients going in and coming out of surgery. When they arrive for surgery, they are anxious about what’s to come. I try to help them relax by offering warm, cozy blankets and peace of mind by explaining the procedure that will be per-

formed. As they are going to sleep, I hold their hand, talk softly and assure them they are in excellent care. As any nurse knows, there are times when your heart is broken, but there are far more good days than bad. Working in the operating room isn’t for everyone, but for me, it’s ideal. Every single day is different; every day is a challenge and I believe it helps to keep my mind sharp. It feels good knowing I am helping others. I encourage those who have the heart to serve others to pursue a nursing career. Michele Saint Francis Hospital Muskogee At this stage of my nursing career, I don’t reflect on why I became a nurse, but rather those things that have kept me here. I have had a long and rewarding career in nursing, and I am where I am today because of those who were willing to pour themselves into me. Likewise, I want to be available to this next generation of nurses, mentoring, instructing, problem solving and setting the expectations for a healthy team. You see, nursing is all about teamwork. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing a group of individuals come together, working as one to accomplish a goal. I love working with this next generation of young nurses. I remember how difficult NICU was as a new graduate, and I never want a member of our team to leave unappreciated or in tears. We are in this together, and we leave no one behind. Nursing is not for the weak. You need tough skin, a big heart and a positive attitude. Though you become familiar with the aspects of your job and you gain the knowledge to be your best, there is always more to learn. We are continually looking for ways to do things better. Margaret St. John Medical Center When I was five years old, my mom decided to go back to school to become a nurse. As she studied, she would have all her books laid out and I would look at them. I especially liked to study the anatomy and physiology book and was quite intrigued by the make-up of the human body. The first day of kindergarten, I was asked to draw a picture of a person, and much to their surprise, it was an anatomical depiction of the human body with ribs and all sorts of details of bones. My teacher was shocked and wanted to speak with my mom about the detailed picture. My mom quickly explained that I had been looking through all her nursing school books. Needless to say, at a very early age, I had a natural attraction to science and a desire to help others. Specializing in surgery, I’ve been involved in a handful of surgeries where we all agreed that we saved a life that day. Working in surgery brings me a great sense of fulfillment. When I am able to be with a scared patient and stand there and comfort them while they go to sleep — that’s what it’s all about. Nursing has become so dynamic and so diverse. There are so many avenues a nurse can pursue in their career. A nurse will always have a job; job security is a big factor. Also, I feel nursing is a challenging and rewarding field to go into. Winter Hillcrest Hospital Pryor From a very young age, I had a deep concern for others and wanted a job where I could provide medical care to the sick. During my junior year of high school, I joined the Army reserves and became a medic. I learned a lot while in the reserves about the medical profession and ultimately decided to attend medical school — even though I became a single mother right out of high school. After two years of juggling motherhood, a full school schedule and work, I decided to pursue a nursing career, which turned out to be one of the best decisions ever. My nursing career has provided many opportunities to work in various fields, including with infants on supportive care in their homes, the elderly in nursing homes, the handicapped and disabled, and HIV/ AIDS patients. As much as I’ve loved each of these fields, my absolute favorite has been home health — the area in which I’ve spent 25 of my 26 years in nursing. When asked why I became a nurse, my response is: “I didn’t choose my career — God did.” I’m thankful God has given me the courage, compassion, spirit and knowledge to be a nurse. I wake up each morning ready to face the challenge that nursing brings. Being a nurse is not a job, it’s a gift — and I will selflessly share this gift with others for as long as God allows. Veronica “Patrice” Saint Francis Home Health My innate desire to serve others and make a difference was my inspiration to becoming a nurse. My goal is providing optimal patient care - every patient, every time. I aim to provide hope. A nurse is a beacon of peace in the mist of the storm during our patients’ darkest times. I encourage everyone with a heart

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to serve to look into the nursing field. Becoming a nurse has many advantages. As a nurse, you are able to interact with a multitude of disciplines in the medical field, such as patients, physicians, medical staff and administrators, on a daily basis. The variety of disciplines that we are exposed to molds us and provides a diverse learning environment. We are also offered flexible hours and are trained to work in many different avenues of nursing which make us multidimensional. It is a privilege to serve as a nurse. 1 Peter 5:2 reminds us to “Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly — not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.” Amalia OSU Medical Center I wanted to be a nurse from a young age so I could help people. My mom was a nurse, and I loved helping take care of my grandma and grandpa. Nursing means caring for people with compassion when they are not at their best. It means helping people deal with a new, scary diagnosis or holding a hand when a patient needs comfort. It also means making your patients as comfortable as possible when life feels out of control or in a difficult situation like end-of-life care. I took care of a little girl who was about four or five years old; she was terrified of all the nurses. I got her some Crayons and a coloring book and colored pictures with her. When she was well enough to be discharged, she gave me a picture she had colored and gave me a hug. I still have that picture in a keepsake box. Nursing offers a wide variety of specialty areas to choose from and you will always be learning. Nursing has its challenges, but the rewards by far outweigh them. Interacting with patients and helping them in their time of need is why I love being a nurse. Christina Hillcrest Hospital Claremore I became a nurse because I wanted to help people and make a difference in their lives. What nursing means to me is taking the time in this demanding environment to treat each patient as an individual. Often a smile, a laugh, a warm blanket or compliment can make them feel like someone cares about them. I hope that in my career I have been caring and compassionate enough to have a patient come back to the ER and say, “I want to see that nurse with the gray hair. She knows how to help me.” I started nursing school when I was 47. I was always interested in nursing but did not decide to pursue a nursing career until later in life. Nursing is such a wonderful field because there are so many different areas you can practice in. In nursing, we have the opportunity to have an influence in our constantly changing healthcare field. I love being given the opportunity to learn something new every day. I will come home from a day at work and go look up some disease a patient had that day or try to find a way to make a cancer patient gain weight. There are so many ways that you can help someone in the nursing field. There is nothing like that feeling of having a patient say, “I want to thank you for what you did today. You made such a difference.” Cassie Jane Phillips Medical Center When I started working in the health-care field as a mental health specialist with children, I was able to see firsthand how a nurse could help a child who was struggling to find a will to survive or live. The emotional support and interventions a nurse can provide in this type of setting are lifesaving in so many ways. I have always had a passion for helping people with mental health issues — and my nursing career provides the perfect avenue for being able to do that, as well as pursue other options if ever needed. Opportunities in nursing are endless, and I believe there is place for every compassionate nurse to find his or her ideal home. Kassi Laureate Psychiatric Clinic and Hospital I can remember when I was 8 years old, attending my mother’s graduation for her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. At the time, I was too young to truly understand what a nurse did. As I got older I understood the concept of what she did for a living. The years went by, and I grew more proud of my mother and the fact that she was a nurse. When I had a family of my own, I knew I needed to be able to provide for them and wanted them to be proud of me, like I am of my mother. That is when I decided to become a nurse. Becoming a nurse was the best decision I have ever made. The feelings I get when I hear my daughters tell everyone that their mother is a nurse and saves lives is beyond words. I was asked the other day if I still enjoyed nursing. Yes, every day I love what I do and where I do it. I wouldn’t change one thing. Being able to care for my patients is a blessing to me. Tami OSU Medical Center

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Throughout my career, I’ve always strived to be “that nurse” — the one who takes care of each patient as a family member in need. To me, nursing is an opportunity to help others at a time of greatest need. I am able to provide patients with physical care, emotional support and encouragement, as well as help them spiritually as they navigate through the confusing world of health care. Some of the sweetest memories of my career are when I was able to do something beyond the call of duty and, in some instances, when a patient didn’t have much time left. I have had the privilege of putting together a couple of weddings/receptions at the hospital. As nurses, we do what is expected of us and take excellent care of our patients. However, it’s the other special moments that we hold on to forever. In terms of workplace (clinics, hospitals, research, etc.) and areas of specialty (from birth, general medical, end-of-life and everything in between), a nursing career offers diversity and many options. It is a profession in which one can continually expand their education and build on their current knowledge. Melinda Saint Francis Hospital I became a nurse because I wanted to make a positive difference in other’s lives. I get the opportunity to help people through the most difficult times, and that is very rewarding to me. I would encourage others to become a nurse because it is a very challenging, everchanging and honorable profession. You can make a profound impact on the people under your care, and there is no greater reward. Jennifer St. John Medical Center My aunt was a nurse. In high school, I began working as a nursing assistant at the local hospital. I had many good nurse mentors. I found that I enjoyed patient care and learning about healthcare. After high school, I completed nurse’s training at the same diploma school of nursing in Omaha that my aunt had attended. This year marks my 45th year as a registered nurse. Although some jobs have been better than others, I have greatly enjoyed my career and continue to do so. Since 1998, I have been an infection prevention nurse specializing in preventing infections and helping stop people from getting sick. I love the variety of activities in which I am involved, and every day is a learning day! I am honored that two people have told me that they became nurses because of me. Also, while working as a surgical nurse in Omaha, I helped develop the operating room aspects for the first bone marrow transplants in Nebraska. I was also part of the first heart transplant in Nebraska. I assisted the surgeon by holding the heart in place as he sutured the vessels into the recipient’s chest. Helping others is very rewarding. Another great reason to become a nurse is the flexibility that comes with a nursing license. As a nurse, I have worked in hospital medical-surgical units, operating rooms, home health, as a director of nursing in a skilled nursing facility, as a consultant and as an infection preventionist — all with one nursing license. Janet Cancer Treatment Centers of America I became a nurse to help people in need. I would encourage anyone with an interest in helping people to look into becoming a nurse. There is a variety of job options and never a lack of excitement. Andrew OSU Medical Center

Initially I became a nurse because I enjoyed science classes in college and there was a predicted nursing shortage. This, I thought, would make a stable career with opportunity. Only later did I realize the nursing profession is personally rewarding and a profession that has allowed me to really make a difference in others’ lives. I’m an operating room (OR) nurse so I only get to spend a limited time with my patients while they’re in surgery and generally under anesthesia. My patients and their families have to trust in me and the OR team to take great care of them and be their advocate while in surgery. I do everything possible to do just that, and I take great pride in doing so. As a circulating nurse in the OR I see some patients that are naturally anxious before surgery. As they drift off to sleep, they look for reassurance and I get to be the one that provides that for them. I would encourage others to become a nurse simply because it opens so many doors. There are so

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many options regarding choice of specialty, hours, location, etc. More importantly, it’s both stable and rewarding. Dave Tulsa Spine & Specialty Hospital

blended with an ability to build relationships during good and difficult times. In the process of helping others, we often find ourselves and learn what we’re truly made of. Jane St. John Clinic

Originally, I became a nurse because it seemed the thing to do as all the women in my family were nurses, including my mother, grandmother and two aunts. I admired them and what they did so I thought “Why not try nursing?” I like the idea that I might be able to change a patient’s outlook on their medical issues and be able to give them education and instruction about their diagnosis, which will help them understand their illness better and perhaps help them lead a healthier and more rewarding life despite their illness. My favorite part of being a medical /surgical nurse is when my patients realize that with some effort they can be just as independent after a surgery as they were before. My favorite patient example is an elderly patient who had tripped and broken her hip. She was terrified that she had lost her independence and appeared quite defeated. Seeing the excitement and optimism on her face when she walked in the hospital hallway the day after her surgery is the reason I stay in nursing. I think nursing is an excellent and rewarding profession to pursue, and I would encourage anyone who is optimistic, hardworking and enjoys people to find one of the many career paths the nursing profession has to offer. Susan Hillcrest Hospital South

As an ER nurse, I am able to reassure patients and make a difference during what can be an intense and scary experience. There have been times when a reoccurring ER patient has said to me, “I am so glad you’re working today — it makes me feel so much better to see a familiar face.” Knowing patients put trust in me to comfort, care and reassure them in their time of need means so much. Moments such as these make me very proud of my 20-year nursing career. I’m fortunate to be able to impact patients and their family members in ways they remember for a lifetime. To feel I’ve made a difference is a gratification that brings inner peace and purpose in my life. During my career, I’ve been privileged to work with a diversity of people and provide them care. It is an honor to be a nurse and a great satisfaction to know my skills and expertise have played a part in helping someone. Nursing is a great career! Nurses are always in demand and make excellent wages. A nursing career offers numerous opportunities and flexible hours. Rhonda Saint Francis Hospital Vinita

I had a microbiology professor who said once that she wouldn’t make it as a nurse because she didn’t like touching people. I guess it makes it simple to know if one can be a nurse. If you are a nurse, your family asks you questions they wouldn’t ask a microbiologist. If you are a nurse, you touch lives on so many levels. You know what a real emergency is, and you know how to calmly respond to it. Your kids and their friends will take the meaning of “clean” to a new level after you tell them a little detail on a certain disease like no one else can. If you are a nurse, you automatically become someone to trust because Google doesn’t always have the answer for a worried, sick friend, and you can explain it better. Of course, one should consider nursing as a lifetime career. It will not be outsourced, and it will always be changing with new technologies, which makes it interesting. It’s never boring because of touching lives not Petri dishes. What other profession celebrates their career choice for a whole week and not just one day? Happy nurses week to all the future nurses! Alla OSU Medical Center Nursing is a ministry to me. It allows me to show God’s love through honesty, caring, loving and giving hope to others at times when they are most vulnerable. This can be achieved by being trustworthy, as well as a good listener and communicator. There is no amount of money in the world that can beat the feeling I get when I see the smiling faces of my patients and their family members. It is an honor and a privilege to be a nurse. Anyone with a caring heart who is interested in a fulfilling ministry would make a wonderful nurse. A nursing career offers daily opportunities to make a difference and touch peoples’ lives. I have found another family (or families) away from my own by being a nurse. Nursing is my calling and I am here to serve. Nancy Saint Francis Hospital South

I truly believe divine intervention led me to nursing. I pursued other vocations in my early years of college, but when I went to nursing school I knew I was home. Nursing isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes drive, dedication and a never-give-up attitude. I’ve met awesome people and have had amazing experiences that could only occur in health care. Nursing is a multifaceted profession, and I enjoy sharing the values of nursing with others interested in nursing careers. Various specialties and types of practice suit a variety of personality types, from adrenaline junkies to the gentle spirited. The flexibility that a nursing career offers is incomparable to other professions and allows for changes in specialty practice without having to go back to school. Changing specialties, which I have done, requires learning new skills, new processes and adapting to different kinds of environments, and it can be good for personal and professional growth. Nurses are part of a health-care team whose goal is to bring patients to their optimal level of knowledge, healing, functioning and/or adapting to new norms. In spite of technological and process changes throughout my career, the human body and the power of the human spirit have remained constant. Whether by accident or intent, most nurses develop leadership skills

When I was in nursing school, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Going through the entire process to beat this disease is a humbling experience. I had to build relationships: my team consisted of family, friends, classmates and my medical staff. To me, nursing means relationships with my patients and their families, and teamwork with coworkers. When my patient is under anesthesia for surgery, I am their advocate. By building relationships with my patient, their family, surgical staff, floor staff, administration and all St. John employees, I ensure that my patient will receive the best care and a positive outcome by utilizing an effective team environment. You would have to work hard to be bored in nursing! No matter how long you have worked, you will learn something new every day. There are so many different areas in nursing. It is nice to know that after all the sweat and tears you put into getting your degree, you can find a specialty that suits you. Serena St. John Medical Center I have wanted to be a nurse since I was five years old. My father was a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and interned at Oklahoma Osteopathic Hospital in 1954. I started my nursing career at Oklahoma Osteopathic Hospital (now OSU Medical Center) in 1975. I am an RN and have worked in the Maternal Child Health department since I started my career. I became a nurse so I could help people. I enjoy helping new families starting out. I help women deliver their babies and then help their family unit learn to care for their new infant. I not only help the new mom but also her whole family. I love watching new parents hold their baby for the first time and see the love in their eyes as they bond with each other. I also enjoy teaching nursing students and medical students, and assisting our residents as necessary. I would encourage others to become a nurse because there are so many different areas to practice in and so many different levels, from entry nursing to the doctorate level. As a nurse, you can get a job anywhere you go and in any area you would like to work. I try to encourage young nurses to further their education and tell them that most hospitals will assist them with their scholarships as needed to further their study, from ADN to BSN and nurse practitioner and further. Karen OSU Medical Center We need many more great nurses, and there are many reasons to become one. A nursing degree offers many great opportunities in a variety of fields; it allows you to help others in their times of need; and if one discipline is not your calling, you can switch to a new one for a change of pace. Compassionate, smart and resourceful individuals should pursue this career path. I especially love taking care of elderly patients and listening to their stories. Nursing is a rewarding career path and one I am glad to have pursued. Since I was young, I wanted to be a nurse. I liked the idea of making people feel better through medicine and compassion. While taking my nursing basics I did some volunteer work at a local hospital and realized that nursing was the path for me. I interned during my last semester of nursing school in an ICU and an ER at two local hospitals, but finally settled into the ER at St. John Medical Center. I love working traumas, patient codes and starting IVs. There is never a dull moment in the ER. Every night is a surprise, and any type of emergency can come through the door. Leslie St. John Owasso


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Nurses make a difference Several local nurses share why they love what they do. Every day is an opportunity to touch a life in a meaningful way.

CTCA values patient-centered care

Helping pediatric patients, families

A self-described als,” Laufer said. “On the nerd, Kendra Laufer dark days, I would get loves to study and she through by God’s grace loves a challenge. As a and learned to think of teenager in Oklahoma it as a sacred privilege City, she witnessed to GET to be there.” how nurses helped Nurses often gain her uncle’s battle with inspiration from their cancer. patients who are facing Everything came difficult circumstances. together to point her “A little lesson I have toward a career in learned from oncology nursing. patients: Live each day “I have been an as if it is your last! This oncology nurse for attitude changes ev30 years, and 24 of erything!” Laufer said. those years have been In her 30 years as an at Cancer Treatment oncology nurse, Laufer Centers of America has gained a positive Kendra Laufer (CTCA) in Tulsa, said perspective that she Laufer, who is married with three grown incorporates into her daily responsibilidaughters and one grandson. She now ties. lives in Owasso. “Picture a patient in a boxing ring — CTCA operates on a patient-centered being a cancer fighter! Our role is that model known as the Mother Standard manager, sitting in their corner, cheering of Care that combines the latest in them on!” Laufer said. medical treatments with a compassionShe frequently shares the following ate and nurturing environment. Each story with nursing students and new CTCA employee makes it a mission to hires as an example of this role. deliver on that promise. “One of our patients had success“CTCA’s patient-centered model was a fully endured a very difficult treatment perfect match for me!” said Laufer, who option and came back to the unit to tell has been a clinical services education the nurses ‘thank you,’ ” Laufer said. “She said ‘I do not remember anyspecialist with CTCA for 12 years. This allows her to support the frontline nurses thing about those difficult recovery days. It is all a blur except for one by providing resources and education memory, the memory of one of you to help them give the best patient care. nurses whispering in my ear over and Some people may think that working over the words ‘don’t give up, you can in oncology can be depressing. do this!’ I wanted to thank you because “I won’t belittle the fact that it is hard your encouragement kept me fighting to see another human being suffer. and I made it!’ Oncology nurses have learned the skill “I can hardly tell that story without of feeling the pain of others without becoming hardened by it. We do this by crying,” Laufer said. “What a privilege in our profession to have that kind of laughing with our patients as often as possible, keeping everything in perspec- connection and influence on someone going through such a battle.” tive and seeking support during the tri-

Childhood is about playing, discovering and believing in dreams. Kristen Casillas, a pediatric nurse at Saint Francis, had a dream of her own. Nearly 10 years ago as she finished high school in Tulsa, Casillas wrote a vision for her future in her senior memory book. “I wrote that I wanted to be a nurse at St. Jude Children’s Hospital,” said Casillas. I always enjoyed working with children, and I knew that I wanted to do something in medicine.” Casillas has spent four of her five years as a nurse at The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis. Having grown up in Tulsa, Casillas says working at The Children’s Hospital was a natural choice. “It’s the only pediatric hospital in Tulsa,” Casillas said. “Now we are affiliated with St. Jude so I can look back to what I wrote almost 10 years ago and see that I’m doing what I wanted to do.” In July 2016, Saint Francis became the eighth St. Jude affiliate in the United States. “Essentially, it’s a partnership with the doctors in Memphis,” said Shannon Filosa, executive director of The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis. “St. Jude has multiple clinical trials available because their mission is to cure childhood cancer. Kids can qualify for some of those trials.” Filosa added that all the research that St. Jude has done on childhood cancer has improved survival rates considerably since it opened in 1962. The Children’s Hospital has Tulsa’s only three pediatric oncologists who work in partnership with the St. Jude Affiliate Clinic, which is an outpatient clinic on the first floor at The Children’s Hospital. As a pediatric nurse, Casillas works in the inpatient unit at The Children’s

Kristen Casillas

Hospital at Saint Francis, caring for children who are hospitalized with cancer in addition to kids with cardiac issues. “We have different kinds of patients on our floor, but we specialize in cardiology, hematology and oncology,” Casillas said. “I’m one of the nurses on the floor that administers chemotherapy.” Her duties involve going over the treatment plan with the children’s parents and doing everything she can to make the process easier for the children and their families. Casillas and her colleagues also take time to do some things together outside of work to help themselves rejuvenate after dealing with such serious matters with their patients. Two years ago they ran their first St. Jude Memphis Marathon together, and last year they ran the St. Jude half marathon. “We got to train together. Then going to Memphis for the marathon was a nice vacation that enabled us to explore the city together,” Casillas said. “This will be the third year to go as a group.”

St. John nurse says compassion is her calling

ICU nurse at OSU Medical Center thrives by helping her patients Linda Huddleston

Family experiences can have a big impact on a person. Sometimes adverse circumstances can make a person stumble. More often, they spur people on to something positive. Linda Huddleston was inspired to be a nurse at an early age when her uncle fell down the stairs. “The rest of the family was in a panic,” remembers Huddleston. “I was at his side until EMSA arrived, and I held him in my arms.” That experience made her realize that she should become a nurse, but she wondered how she was going to get there. “There were too many of us, and my family was too poor to send me,” said Huddleston, who got an associate nursing degree at Seminole State College (formerly Seminole Junior College). “I took one class at a time to get what I needed to become a nurse. “ Huddleston grew up in Beggs, Oklahoma, and now lives in Okmulgee. Although she has been a nurse for 36 years, 31 years have been with OSU Medical Center. “I was led to OSU because it was the easiest route from Okmulgee, straight up the beeline. I worked in a nine-bed ICU in Okmulgee as the nurse manager. I wanted to advance in my skills so I could teach my staff. Four years later, they closed the nine-bed ICU, so I signed on full time at what is now called OSU Medical Center. I have been here ever since. Huddleston’s role now is a staff nurse, a preceptor for new nurses, a role model and a go-to nurse. “What I like most about being a nurse, is helping those that are not capable of helping themselves, wanting to see them get better and return home, or helping the family cope in what is going on with their loved ones,” she said. In addition to helping patients and their families, she is motivated each day to help medical students, interns, residents and nurses to become the best they can be in the medical profession. “Being a nurse, is very rewarding,” said Huddleston, who enjoys being able to give comfort, being someone her patients can share their life stories with and gaining a better understanding of what they are going through. “It’s rewarding to know that we, the staff, contributed to their well-being,” she added. Patients have returned to the hospital and told Huddleston how they remember her laughter and that she made their stay in the hospital better. It made them feel better having someone around who was cheerful like her. That calls to mind a quote from Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” When you find yourself in the hospital, you want someone with the expertise to care for you — and a cheerful attitude helps, too.

Compassion is a fundamental part of nursing. It’s something that St. John Health System surgical nurse Binh Chung takes very seriously, and it shows. In fact, Chung has received more than a dozen DAISY Award nominations from patients and their families, recognizing her exceptional and compassionate nursing care. The award program was created in 1999 to recognize the clinical skill and compassion that nurses provide to patients and their families all year long. Chung grew up in Vietnam with her parents and five siblings. She came to the United States in 2003 after marrying her husband, Dung Tran. The couple lives in Broken Arrow with their son, Philip, who is 9 years old. Chung earned her nursing degree from Tulsa Community College 10 years ago and immediately began working at St. John Health System. “While in nursing school I did my clinical at St. John, so when the recruiter came to the school I decided that it would be a good

Binh Chung

fit for me,” said Chung. She was inspired to become a nurse by watching her mother, who always helped people who suffered from illness, starvation and the effects of poverty. “Secondly, I was inspired by my sister, who is also a nurse. She worked at a hospital in Vietnam and cared for our father, who died from cirrhosis,” Chung said. “Last but not least, I was inspired by Rhonda Shackle, who I call my American mom. She influ-

enced me while I was in nursing school and taught me compassion, care and love.” Chung was inspired by the compassion these three women had for others, and she found herself wanting to be just like them. Chung was excited to receive so many DAISY Award nominations from her patients and their families. “Compassion. It’s my calling. I feel if I am not taking care of someone, then I am not fulfilling my purpose,” Chung said. “I feel like I was put here to help others to get better no matter what their situation is. I love helping others to feel better and making a difference in someone’s life.” Compassion is a vital element in patient-centered care. When patients feel that a nurse truly cares, they relax and develop a more optimistic outlook on their recovery. They also tend to be more willing to reach out to a nurse who seems to care. Chung recommends nursing to those who are considering it as a career. “Nursing is a very rewarding career if it is truly what you want to do.”

Hillcrest oncology nurse finds her purpose Children pay attention to the world around them, and something as simple as a TV show can be the inspiration that sets them on a path to their career. As a little girl, Becki Banther knew she wanted to be a nurse and couldn’t wait to watch the weekly TV medical drama Marcus Welby, MD, with her grandmother. Inspired by that show, “I would sneak around and put on my sister’s friend’s nursing cap and admire myself in the mirror,” Banther said. “I have always loved people and looked for ways to help, fix or do things for those who needed it,” she added. “I was taught by my dad at an early age that helping and giving to others was one of the greatest gifts that you could ever give yourself.” Banther has been a nurse for 20 years. Most recently, she has been an oncology nurse with Utica Park Clinic for five years. “It wasn’t until I had been a nurse for a few years that the reason I became a nurse was clear,” Banther said. “Just two short years after becoming a nurse, my dad was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer. He went into remission for

almost two years after completing his first treatment regimen. “ A few months later Banther was presented with an opportunity to work in medical oncology for the very first time. “I fell in love with it and knew immediately that this was my calling,” she added. “Six months after beginning my career as an oncology nurse, my dad’s cancer recurred and, sadly, he lost that battle. This is the moment that it became very clear to me why I became a nurse and specifically an oncology nurse.” Banther joined the Hillcrest/UPC system when its medical oncology service line was still very new. This was an opportunity to be part of new and growing program. “It has been exciting, challenging and rewarding to be a part of this. I am grateful to be part of such an amazing team,” Banther said. She currently works as a clinical float nurse among the medical oncologists. Her role primarily consists of triaging patient phone calls, symptom management, coordinating care with other providers and providing emotional support to our patients and their caregivers. “My dad’s cancer experience and my patients are what keep me

Becki Banther

motivated. As a daughter on the other side of the diagnosis, I know how much patients and caregivers rely on the staff and how important they are in each aspect of their care,” Banther said. “I have had the privilege of caring for some of the most amazing people,” she added. “Each day the needs may vary. That is okay as long as I know that I am meeting that need to best of my ability. Some days I share hugs, some days I share tears, some days I’m their cheerleader and some days we celebrate.”


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TULSA WORLD SUPPLEMENT

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Simple tips for showing a nurse that you care (MCS) — Nurses are often the first people patients see when visiting hospitals. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration, there were 2.8 million registered nurses, including advanced practice RNs, and 690,000 licensed practical nurses, or LPNs, in the United States between the years of 2008 and 2010. Nurses fill many roles in the medical community, assisting doctors and helping to make in-patient stays more comfortable for men and women who are ill or injured. Specialized nurses, such as nurse practitioners, may even serve as the primary health-care provider, offering diagnoses and writing prescriptions. While there is a specific week set aside to show appreciation to nurses, many people agree that they deserve recognition throughout the year. Any instance is a good time to give back to nurses, and the following are a few ways to honor the nurses in your life. • Play caretaker to a nurse. Nurses tend to the needs of others all the time, but some nurses don’t get the respite they deserve. Those who want to show appreciation to a nurse who has helped them in their lives can present the nurse with a gift card for a massage and spa treatment. • Cater a meal. Offer to cater a meal at the hospital or medical office so that all nurses on staff can benefit. If there

is one nurse in particular you want to treat, give that nurse a gift card to a nearby restaurant. • Provide foot relief. Nurses spend hours on their feet, and that can cause pain or stiffness throughout the body. Present a gift card to a store that specializes in comfort shoes or custom orthotics. A certificate for a pedicure or foot massage would be greatly appreciated as well. • Create a charmed existence. Charm bracelets are a special personal gift, and nurses may appreciate a bracelet that highlights their career path with specific charms. For something they can wear on the job, treat nurses to a charm that slides securely onto stethoscopes. These charms come in many designs and can make for a memorable gift. • Give a decorative badge reel. Nurses must wear identification or have swipe cards on their person to gain access to areas of hospitals. Many badges are standard items without any flare or style. A colorful or decorative badge reel can be a nice way to brighten up a nurse’s day. • Give verbal or handwritten thanks. One of the most heartfelt ways to show your appreciation to nurses is to simply tell them how you feel. Offer a handwritten note or speak with a nurse in person. Such a simple gesture doesn’t take much effort, but it is sure to make an impact.

Salute to Nurses Contest Who is your favorite nurse? National Nurses Week is May 6-12. In celebration, Tulsa World is asking readers to nominate an outstanding nurse who they believe deserves special recognition. Nominations will be accepted at tulsaworld.com/contests through May 13. Please submit a photo and the reason you think this nurse is special. Readers may vote May 14-21 for their favorite among the nominees. Be sure to check tulsaworld.com/contests on May 31 to learn which deserving nurse has been selected. Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Hillcrest Healthcare System, St. John Health System and OSU Medical Center are sponsoring the contest.

Nurses bring smiles to the faces of their patients. Find out how you can show your appreciation and garner a few smiles in return.


S12 Sunday, May 6, 2018

NURSES DAY

TULSA WORLD SUPPLEMENT

Nurses Day 2018  
Nurses Day 2018