2019 National Nurses Week Celebrates Compassionate Care​

Caregiver
Patient advocate
Promoter of health

​These are just a few phrases that could describe a nurse. However, nurses contribute to the health care field in so many ways no single word can encompass the roles they fulfill.

The American Nurses Association (ANA) recognizes National Nurses Week May 6-12 acknowledging the vast contribution and positive impact of the more than 4 million registered nurses in the U.S. Statewide across its sites, Monarch employs approximately 94 nurses statewide, which includes registered, licensed practical and practitioners and is honoring the compassionate care they provide for the people we support.

Monica Wiley, RN, lead nurse at Guilford, Forsyth, Davidson and Stanly County outpatient sites, believes nurses serve as a patient advocate.

“A nurse is someone who has the training and the skills to critically think of better outcomes overall,” she said. “. . . the people we support might have a misunderstanding with their pharmacy or their provider and just being that advocate for them can make a world of difference.”

Joanne Locklear, LPN, at Robeson Outpatient Clinic, notes that her profession is often the first to connect with the people we support and many times have the opportunity to intercede on their behalf with the provider. “Sometimes the person we support may have a question that they don’t know how to ask . . . we can advocate for them. Just being willing to let the individual voice their opinion and listen to their concerns helps them receive the care they need,” Locklear said.

Pence Place’s Long-term Services and Support Nursing Supervisor Judy Crowley, RN, provides education, makes referrals and acts as a networker. “I encourage annual health screenings and health maintenance, as well as promote and encourage a healthy lifestyle,” Crowley said. “We are able to collaborate with other agencies and providers to help the people we serve make choices and meet their needs.”

Being a nurse is rewarding Wiley noted, especially when she has conversations with family members of a loved one who has received Monarch services, benefitted and experienced progress: “I enjoy making a difference in other people’s lives . . . you never forget those moments when someone tells you that.”

Through the years, nursing has undergone many changes and transformations. Wiley, Locklear and Crowley each note being witness to this evolution of care during their careers. “Care has become more person-centered and focused on creating care plans and establishing goals . . . we want to empower the people we support to pursue their personal interests and goals,” added Wiley.

“Providers are more understanding about the needs and wants of the people we serve,” noted Crowley. “Making dreams come true and making the people we serve feel important to society is a priority.”

Locklear, Wiley and Crowley agreed that the most rewarding aspect of nursing is personal. “Seeing the relief on someone’s face who felt hopeless and at the end of their rope when they came in for their last appointment. Then seeing that patient return for a follow up visit to tell you how much their life is better after reaching out to Monarch is rewarding,” pointed out Locklear.

“Watching the people we serve grow at home and in the community by empowering them to make their own choices and to achieve their goals is one of my favorite parts of being a nurse,” confided Crowley.

What advice do these nurses provide to those considering becoming a nurse? “Explore every area of nursing before you choose your specialty. Experience behavioral health,” Crowley suggested.

“Find what makes you want to get up every morning and know you may make a difference in someone’s life at the end of the day,” Locklear recommended.