by Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer
As I enter Alliance Deaconess Hospital, I am greeted with a smile and “How may I help you?” from the volunteer at the information desk. “I am on my way to the Rehabilitation Unit,” I tell her. “Third floor,” she replies, “the elevator is right around the corner.”
At the nurse’s station, I see a nurse interacting with a patient in a wheelchair. With a gentleness in her voice, I hear the nurse tell the patient, ‘your physical therapist with be here in 5 minutes. I’ll be right here with you until she arrives,’ as she places her hand on the patient’s shoulder. It is then that I realize that this kind soul is Donna Banks, RN. With an outstretched arm and a handshake, I hear, “Hi, I’m Donna Banks. It is nice to meet you. I am the one you are to interview.”
The Rehabilitation Unit is dedicated to helping people rebuild their lives after illness and injury. This is where they believe that recovery encompasses both mind and body, so the comprehensive services address both the mental and physical aspects of rehabilitation. The rehabilitation team includes knowledgeable, caring professionals who are dedicated to providing quality care and support.
“How long have you been a nurse?” I ask Donna. “Let’s see, it has been about 21 years now,” she replies. “Gosh, I guess that is a long time,” she adds with a smile. “I went to school in Senatobia, Mississippi and became a nurse. I have enjoyed my job ever since and I can’t see myself doing anything else. I just love it!”
“Why did you choose nursing as a career?” I ask. “Well, it was shortly after I got married that my husband fell and broke his back. It was partially due to me caring for him and financial reasons that I was his caregiver. I had a real desire for ‘caring.’ It was then I knew that I wanted to become a nurse, taking care of others. I remember when I was a little girl, I just knew I would grow up to be an elementary school teacher but my husband changed that,” she replied with a laugh. “Also, my older sister had gone into nursing a year before so she had an influence on my life too.”
Asking Donna what advice she would give to someone if they were to enter the medical field, she replied, “I would tell them to keep their eyes wide open, be sincere in their heart and give sincerity to the patients, always doing what you say you are going to do, following through with your word. That is so important.”
“In your opinion, what makes a good nurse?” I ask. With a smile and a quick answer, Donna says, “I would say they would have to be honest, sincere and compassionate. They would have to really care about other people, taking care of them as though they were a part of their own family.”
When I asked Donna what her best quality was, she told me that it was compassion. It was obvious to see that she had displayed plenty of it in the short time I was there.
When Donna is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two grown sons. Her hobbies include quilting and refinishing furniture. “I’m not the best at either hobby but I enjoy both of them. It is very relaxing.” She adds with a laugh.
“I have one last question for you Donna,” I continue. “What is the greatest reward about your job?’ “I love coming to work and seeing the patients. We have some sweet moments and some not so sweet moments and that is when I can get overwhelmed. Even with the chaos that occurs sometimes, the job is well worth it for that special reward. Also, we all get along so well around here. My job is very gratifying in many ways.”
Whether you are recovering from a broken bone, muscle injury or surgery, regaining mobility, strength, flexibility and endurance are a key part of your recovery. Every individual has different goals and expectations in recovery, so our rehabilitation specialists provide a customized plan that incorporates the unique goals and abilities of each person, giving specialized services to assist patients after cancer, heart attack or brain injury.
Alliance Health Deaconess Hospital is full of love and compassion. As far as recovery goes, you can bank on it!