Week honors nurses for their caring hearts

Published 9:45 pm Monday, May 7, 2018

By Adam Dodson
The Selma Times-Journal

This week marks Nurses Appreciation Week across the nation, which highlights the hard-working women and men of the health care system. This includes Vaughan Regional Medical Center’s nurses who handle a complex variety of tasks on a day-to-day basis.
The nurses at Vaughan all have a passion for what they do, finding satisfaction in seeing a patient leave their facility happy and healthy. In order to achieve this, Vaughan’s intermediate care unit nurses say the staff must be pulling in the same direction with the ability to work together.
Called a “caring profession,” the memorable moments come from the patients, according to registered nurse Tracey Griffin. Griffin has worked at Vaughan Regional Medical Center for almost her entire adult life and has lasting bonds with patients.
“You have to love people,” Griffin said. “I have worked here since I was 18 years old. When you take care of a patient that you didn’t have high expectations for, and then they come walking back through those doors to tell you ‘thank you,’ that will make you very emotional.”
The simple “thank you” along with community trust are the two ways nurses say that Selma-Dallas County residents can show their appreciation during this week and every week hereafter.
“We have patients all the time who say ‘thank you so much’ for what we do, and that goes such a long way,” Dr. Patricia Hannon, chief nursing officer and three-year Vaughan employee, said. “To be honest, we hear it all the time. We need the community to appreciate the hospital.”
When the nurses say they want the community to trust them and the other employees of Vaughan, they mean they want the community to rely on them when they are in need of health care services, rather than going out of town to another hospital. They want community support by trusting they can do their jobs well and with a smile.
Many of these nurses make sacrifices in their professional and personal lives for the benefit of the patients. For registered nurse Elizabeth Strickland, a Vaughan employee of two and a half years, these sacrifices are made out of love for those in their care.
“We are here for them. Such as today, both of my children are sick but I am here taking care of someone else’s family,” Strickland said. “They are the family away from my family. We have to take care of our own.”
The community is not the only people who show support for the nurses. Other employees show appreciation to the nurses as well, going all the way up to the top with CEO David McCormack. McCormack, who is described as a personable “hands-on” individual, received nothing but praise from the nurses. They say, having bosses as enjoyable and caring as McCormack and Hannon makes them feel all the more important. According to Strickland, she sees McCormack every day because he makes himself available.
“I can go to him for the good or the bad, and I can say the same thing about Dr. Hannon,” Strickland said.
According to Hannon, the nurses at Vaughan are empowered by the community showing support for the hospital because many of the residents and nurses know each other from outside the workplace. This creates a higher personal connection between the nurses and the patients.
Fully motivated, the nurses are also now fully staffed. According to Strickland, they will focus more time on doing what they love: patient care.

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