I am happy to have the opportunity to talk to our community this month about the essential role of the Mission Hospital McDowell (MHM) nursing team. It’s the appropriate time to do so since May 6-12 is National Nurses Week, where we reflect on and appreciate all that our nurses to do provide the very best care for our patients and their families.
Our nurses are specialists in showing up — no matter what challenges they face, especially over these last two years with the COVID-19 pandemic — they step up to serve our patients with unmatched skill, grace, and compassion. I witness each day how our nurses care for the patients of MHM, and they do so as if they were treating their own family members.
You might wonder what comprises extraordinarily delivered advanced care? It is actually a combination of so many things. Nurses must be able to keep up with the patient management technology they’re required to use so their peers can be kept up to date on a patient’s ever-changing needs and condition. They must also be nimble in the more intangible skills of effective time management, task prioritization, and pivoting as protocols change.
There was never a better example of the need for the last skill on that list, than over the last two years living and working with the COVID-19 pandemic. Early on in the pandemic, we knew very little about the virus. As time went on, we learned more and more about how it is transmitted, the many ways it manifests in patients, and changes in vaccine and treatment protocols.
The medical expertise that nurses need to perform optimally is both focused and expansive. This is why MHM is committed to supporting our nurses as they strive to execute their duties at the top of their professions, and also why HCA Healthcare offers a multitude of educational opportunities for nurses so they gain additional credentials and advance their careers, as well as tuition reimbursement programs. MHM also has a Nurse Educator on staff, so our nurses can stay abreast of new care delivery methods and acquire advanced skill sets.
Our nurses are also committed to making processes better for our patients. If they see something that needs improving, they go ahead and facilitate a solution, always with patient safety and positive healthcare outcomes in mind.
In addition to all the medical and technical expertise, organizational superpowers, and innovative outlooks that our nurses possess, they also excel at something much harder to quantify and define, but essential for all caregivers: compassion. They are always willing to take the extra time to soothe a patient’s worries, share a joke, or hold a hand.
We hope that our nursing team feels appreciated every day of the year, but it was heartening to see some groups from our community’s church congregations standing outside the hospital and letting us know they were praying for our nurses this year. I know it meant very much to them.
We also recognize our nurses with fun events. Recently we celebrated Caramel Popcorn Day by giving out boxes of Cracker Jack as a treat. Every gesture of thanks matters, because so many providers are experiencing burnout from the pandemic, which is totally understandable. We encourage and support our nurses to engage in self-care so that they themselves can stay physically and mentally healthy.
We also recently celebrated our Certified Nurses, or those who gain a specialty certification in a certain type of care. Our MHM nurses always strive to further their experience and education, and the beneficiary of course, is the patient.
I’d also like to congratulate our MHM team members who received the 2022 Colleague of the Year award, Tiffany Rose, BSN, RN, in our Acute Care department, and Donna Adkins, a dedicated member of our Environmental Services team.
We can’t forget either that nurses strengthen the entire healthcare system with their presence. In addition to bedside care, nurses serve hospitals in many other ways, including as nurse educators and hospital leaders.
Nurses are notoriously selfless, humble, and don’t brag about themselves, but I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight our exemplary MHM nurses as Nurses Week approaches. We are so very grateful for our special nurses here at MHM. This team is the linchpin that enables us to care for our community with the highest skill level and a caring touch.
Amanda Prevette, MSN, RN, is the Chief Nursing Officer at Mission Hospital McDowell.