by James Coburn, Staff Writer
Keith Curran, RN, understands compassion and emergency situations. And there are many reasons why he likes being an ER and inpatient nurse at Oklahoma ER & Hospital, located in Oklahoma City.
He lost just about everything after an apartment fire three years ago.
“Everyone here just stepped up like family,” Curran said. “They provided money, found new household items for me and did everything they could to help me out. Honestly, if I had been working somewhere else, it would have been a much harder recovery from the fire. So, I really appreciate my coworkers. We are all really close and we’re all willing to help each other out when we’re going through something outside of work or at work.”
His father, grandmother and three sisters are nurses. So, nursing came naturally for Curran. (STORY CONTINUES BELOW)
He began his education by earning a Bachelor of General Studies degree with a focus on social work and counseling before receiving an Associate degree in Nursing at Eastern Oklahoma State College. He graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with a Master of Science in Healthcare Administration.
He began his nursing career working in an intensive care unit and was a house supervisor at another hospital. Curran has been with Oklahoma ER & Hospital for three years. He learned of Oklahoma ER & Hospital from friends who were working there at a time he was working as a travel nurse.
“My friend was like, ‘Hey, you should check out this place. We love it here,’” Curran said. “I like it because it’s a smaller place and you really get to know the people here,” Curran said.
The nursing staff has some of the best teamwork Kyle Black, RN, has ever worked with, he said.
Oklahoma ER & Hospital is growing with quality emergency care. Seven local physicians who saw a need for compassionate and quick emergency care opened Oklahoma ER & Hospital in 2019. It’s equipped with nine ER beds, a triage room, and a pediatric room. About 50 nurses are on staff, twice the number from when Oklahoma ER & Hospital opened at 15103 N. Pennsylvania Ave, Oklahoma City. The 15,000-square-foot facility is designed to for adult and pediatric patients safety and comfort.
The staff uses the same cutting-edge equipment and technology found in a modern hospital, including bedside ultrasound, digital radiology, CT scan, MRI, and a comprehensive clinical laboratory, said Makailyn Dillon, director of marketing. They treat and diagnose quickly with 85 percent of lab work done at the facility. Patients in need of an extended stay at Oklahoma ER & Hospital will typically remain there for up to eight days.
“We have our outside referral partners and can get the patient in very quickly,” Dillon said.
People don’t wake up in the morning or go to sleep at night planning to go to a hospital emergency room. They often arrive confused or worried about what’s next. The ER is receiving more cases of COVID and influenza as the season changes. They’re scared and may be worried about someone else getting in their family getting sick, he said. An ER nurse should be able to remain calm in stressful situations, he said.
He knows patients and their families need their questions answered. Curran’s confidence helps put them at ease. He quickly anticipates the next thing he needs to do. An ER nurse needs to be able to work independently while being a team player, he said.
“You have to read the room with every person about what kind of persona they are wanting. Are they wanting jokes, something funny or from a more serious side,” he said.
Oklahoma ER & Hospital and other medical centers became short of beds when COVID was rampant in the state. They sometimes had to send patients out of state for an available hospital bed, he said. Curran is grateful to see those patients who were once in critical condition return to the ER for something minor.
Anytime an ER patient returns happy and thankful that he potentially saved their life, makes him feel like all the stress associated with being a nurse is worth it.
Nurses go above and beyond simply being a good nurse. As an example, he said Hillary Plagg is a phenomenal nurse. Her knowledge and positive nature with patients, shines with a willingness to do what is needed, whether it’s providing warm blankets or snacks.
“She offers that to patients and then she’ll offer it to coworkers,” he said. “Hillary was one of the biggest people to help after my fire with non-stop giving,” Curran explained. “I’ve seen her make gift baskets for some of our delivery people that are here constantly. She’s above and beyond with giving and hospitality every time I work with her.”
Nursing has taught Curran about perseverance, he said.
“It’s learning about yourself, that you are able to stick with it and make a difference,” he said. For more information about Oklahoma ER & Hospital visit