by James Coburn, Staff Writer
An adrenaline rush for Stephanie Jones means not knowing what type of emergency is coming through the ER door, said the registered nurse at INTEGRIS Health Edmond.
“It keeps us on our toes, and there is not a day that I work that I don’t learn something new,” Jones said. “I feel that it’s challenging. As a group, ER nurses like to be challenged.”
Jones engages life with a confident smile. She has spent her 12-year career as a registered nurse helping patients in an ER. Her first career choice was at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center before she transferred to the INTEGRIS Health Edmond ER where she is a lead nurse.
“At this facility I absolutely adore the management,” she said. “The management is wonderful. They always have your back and are very helpful.”
Several of her coworkers in the ER had worked with her at INTEGRIS Baptist. They had established a great bond together, she said. So Jones followed them to INTEGRIS Health Edmond where they continue to improve on excellence.
“I think teamwork is a quality we share,” she said. “We help each other out and I think we all share working well under pressure together. We call it organized chaos.”
The nurses have a type-A personality and take charge. A rush of adrenaline is a common trait among them, Jones said. She added that everyone she works with has been doing ER nursing for a long time.
“We just kind of feed off each other,” she explained. “I think we’re always learning something here and that’s what I love about it.”
Nurses build on each other’s confidence by always being a step away with help. This applies to life outside of work as well.
“I love it here because everyone is willing to jump in and help everybody else,” she said. “We’ve all become friends outside of work. They’re a second family to me. It’s great to work with people like that.”
Love is what sparked her desire to become a nurse. She has always been inspired by the medical field. Even when she was a young girl, Jones was always interested in science. Anatomy and physiology sparked her interest.
“When I got to college I chose nursing,” she said. I feel that I have that kind of personality. I like to take care of people. I’ve always been that kind of a person. And that kind of led me in that direction.”
Jones became a nurse in 2005 after earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing at the University of Central Oklahoma. In 2004 she worked as a nurse tech at INTEGRIS Baptist before being hired as a nurse there. Jones came to work at the Edmond hospital two years ago.
She may not know her patients very long as an ER nurse, but there is a common thread among them that drives her performance to shift to high gear.
“I think what I love the most is you are the first person they see in a critical situation,” Jones said. “Everybody is scared; everybody is nervous about outcomes. I get the sense of pride helping people.”
It is important for Jones to explain to patients and their family members what is transpiring. ER nurses must have a rapport with people and a communication style that empathizes with their fears.
“You have to have that kind of ability to talk with people to help calm them down and help ease their minds,” she said. “And not everybody can do that.”
The ER staff often shares the importance of updating the patient with information.
“It’s different than a doctor’s office. We get results here almost immediately,” she said.
Information regarding CT scans and X-Rays, even if it’s not good news, at least gives the patient perspective in understanding their condition. Processing information is important for patients and their family members.
“I think it is this whole not knowing that causes so much stress,” Jones said.
Her work is fast paced and to stay flexible, Jones likes to exercise when away from the ER. She said exercise is a major stress reliever in life. Exercise is her “me time,” Jones said.
“I’ve got young kids at home, so we’re always doing something – taking walks and going to the park,” she said.
Family members call her all the time for advice when they have a minor pain. She loves life.
“I like what I do. I love the place that I work,” she said, knowing the ER can change within one minute.
“I think that’s what I like about it so much. You just never know,” she said.
by James Coburn, Staff Writer