In honor of Nurses’ Week, May 6-12, Dome spoke with RNs from Hopkins entities.
Carol Ware, 59
QI Team Leader, Surgical/Critical Care Medicine, Quality Improvement
The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Clinical support technology has dramatically changed the way nursing care is delivered. The learning curve is steep because the changes come so quickly and require lots of retraining and rethinking. The younger nurses helped me with my struggles. In many ways, the one-on-one patient contact is lost or limited as nursing becomes highly specialized and technical. Much to my amazement, I became computer literate. New nurses today miss a lot of that hands-on contact. They look to us as mentors with lots of hands-on experience. The respect is mutual; so is the understanding that the patient comes first.
Alissa Stieber, 29
Pediatric Home Care Nurse
Johns Hopkins Pediatrics
I like pediatrics because children tell it like it is. They will tell you if their mommy isn’t doing a dressing change, or if the mommy is a good “nurse.” I have about 20 kids every week on my caseload, from new preemies to kids with cancer, genetic disorders, IVs, diabetes. I work independently but always have managers and case workers. If a doctor has questions about a mom, they’ll call me and I can check it out. I have called Child Protective Services. Once I had a patient taken away from a family because of neglect. I’ve gotten upset when patients die, especially when it’s unexpected. But I feel that when the child is in my care, I do everything I can.
Joy Card, 31
Howard County General Hospital
I am probably the only one in my unit under 40. I prefer working with older people. I was on a unit with other younger people and there was a lot of stress on the baby boomers who had much younger supervisors. I feel like I can draw from the older nurses’ experience. It works the other way around when it comes to computers. Nurses tend to work well together but independently at the same time. Younger nurses often work extra hours for extra pay.
Toshunia Henderson, 31
Endoscopy Charge Nurse The Johns Hopkins Hospital
I’ve been at Hopkins since 1998 when I started as a clinical nurse intern on Meyer 8 while in nursing school. I’ve grown up at Hopkins. At first, I was so timid and scared. Then, I became more confident and helped to guide the younger nurses, particularly on how to handle time management and talk to families and patients. On this floor, I’m the baby. I’ve been in endoscopy for three years and I’m still learning. Change is difficult for older nurses, but equipment is a challenge for me, as well. It changes all the time. Another challenge is learning each physician’s personal preference on how to set things up for procedures. It was a reward and privilege that I was given this opportunity to become a charge nurse on this unit.
Ian Jallorina, 37
Advanced Clinical RN
Renal and Oncology Unit
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
In addition to patients who need hemodialysis and chemotherapy, we admit regular medicine patients to our floor [?] chest pain, alcohol withdrawal, cellulitis, pneumonia. We deal with a lot of sick patients and because this is a training hospital and we work with interns, residents and hospitalists, it can be challenging. But there are also rewards. I like our unit because of the teamwork. The staff and our manager are able to see eye to eye. He listens to our concerns and acts upon them and, by the same token, we listen to his. As a nurse, my generation was trained to follow doctor’s orders. But I’m working with a generation now where the doctors and nurses work hand in hand. When I teach nurses now, I teach them to be more assertive.
–Reported by Mary Ellen Miller and Judy F. Minkove