by Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer
Meet Amy Snyder, RN, BSN where she works at Integris Southwest Medical Center. She can be found taking care of the babies in the Newborn Nursery, Level II NICU or the Mom-Baby Postpartum Unit. “I am doing exactly what I want to do. I am fortunate to be able to work with all of these sweet little babies,” Amy said.
Amy stays busy, doing many different jobs at the hospital. “My typical day varies, according to census and acuity, but usually includes a variety of things involving deliveries and providing care to new moms. Whether the woman is having her first baby or her fifth, all moms need a little TLC and I enjoy providing it, and of course, caring for the babies as well. I teach the moms how to take care of their little bundle of joy. There are also times when I care for the sick or premature baby in the special care nursery. Those babies need a little more care than the others but I have to admit, those are the babies that are my favorite,” she said with a big smile.
Amy’s duties include attending deliveries where she does assessments on the babies from time of birth until 2 hours old. Frequent checking of vital signs, ensuring the baby is staying warm, giving medications and vaccines, obtaining weight and measurements, initial feeding with the mom and baby, monitoring lab work if needed plus initiating safety and security.
“On some occasions, babies have issues that require special care, such as premature babies, respiratory issues, critically low temperatures, low glucose levels or suspected infections. Those babies spend some time in the NICU,” Amy said. Other times, Amy spends her shift giving care to new moms and their healthy babies, monitoring their vital signs, weight, feedings and output. A lot of mom/baby patient education is given as well.
When I asked Amy to describe herself in 3 words, she replied, “I guess I would say, funny, patient and diligent. I rarely give up on something when I set my mind to it and I like to have fun along the way.”
Amy grew up in Bethany, OK. With her mom being an ICU nurse at Deaconess, Amy was familiar with doctors and nurses. “Many of my mom’s friends were nurses and encouraged me to pursue nursing when I got older. In fact, when I was a baby, I had some health issues and I had to have a trach for the first five years of my life. I was around a lot of doctors and nurses. I spent those years in and out of NICU and the pediatric floor. It must have had a lasting impact on my life. That is likely the reason I work where I do today.”
Amy has been a nurse for 18 years. When asked what qualities make a good nurse, she replied, “I think a nurse needs to be loving, compassion, diligence, flexible, have common sense, a love for learning and a sense of humor, along with good time management and critical thinking skills.”
Amy would not change anything about her job. “My greatest reward is when I get to see patients recover and do well, or see a baby return with their parents to have little siblings later on and they remember me fondly. It’s a privilege to share those first few days with a new family. My favorite thing about nursing as a whole is the flexibility in the field. There are endless career choices and possibilities. My favorite thing about my current job is so obvious…it’s all those babies!”
Amy is a single mom and has 3 wonderful boys, ages 25, 14, and 11. She also has a granddaughter that is 2 years old. She loves spending time with her family. Her hobbies include gardening, bargain hunting and garage sale shopping with friends. “I love to repurpose furniture, decor items, and do all kinds of crafts.”
When it comes to advice for anyone interested in a career in nursing, Amy has some encouraging words; “Stick with it and don’t give up, even if you don’t feel the passion right away. There is so much flexibility, there is something for everyone. It can be very rewarding work! Being here at Integris Southwest Medical Center is definitely where I belong. I love it and I am blessed that I found my passion.”