by James Coburn, Staff Writer
Nursing has always been in the heart for Monica Curry, a licensed practical nurse in Oklahoma City. Nursing is in the family for Curry. Her father was an LPN and her step-mother was a nurse, she said.
“I don’t think you choose to become a nurse. I think that God lets people know who he wants,” Curry said.
Curry has been with Humanity Hospice since October She earned her LPN training at Wes Watkins Technology Center in Wetumpka. She was a CNA for more than 10 years before becoming an LPN. She did mostly long-term care but also worked for a couple of years in a hospital setting.
Curry said she is excited that Humanity Hospice will be moving to a new location. The groundbreaking ceremony was in March for the new office to be located at 1901 S. Kelly in Edmond.
“Humanity has grown so quickly and I’m just excited to be part of that,” she said.
Maluk Bavi, director of clinical services, said Humanity Hospice is growing so fast since it opened in 2014 that it has been running out of space. She anticipates that the office will open by the end of August or the beginning of September depending on weather conditions.
“We’re doing very well and blessed to have that because it just makes us touch more lives and bring more people into hospice for our service,” Bavi said. “We hate to lose them. But they are free and leave us peacefully. We give them all the comfort we can to make that transition easier for them.”
Families often return to Humanity Hospice. A husband became a client of the hospice after his wife passed away with Humanity at her side. It is a compliment that families are confident with the services provided by Humanity Hospice.
“This is the best team I’ve ever worked with — ever. I’ve never felt more valued and appreciated in any position I’ve ever been at,” she said. “I’ve been an ADON and a staff development coordinator. Every aspect an LPN can do, I’ve done, and here is where I feel most appreciated.”
Nursing is a challenging profession when taking into account the needs of all of one’s patients, she said. What appeals to her about hospice is the time she spends with her patients, to see their faces light up when they see her dressed in purple scrubs walking through the door.
“It’s the best thing in the world,” she said. “They may not be able to tell you their name. They might not remember their name, but they like it when the purple scrubs walk in.”
Curry does a complete assessment to each of her patients to see if there are new symptoms noting a decline in their health status. When a decline is evident, Curry said she and the holistic staff at Humanity Hospice can help prepare their patients for the last transition of their lives.
“If they’re in a facility, we can do that in a facility. If they’re a home patient then it keeps them from having to go out to the doctor for an emergency room visit because that’s a lot of trauma on them,” Curry said.
Curry said she is there to help her patients live well before their passing. There is a lot of communication with the families. She receives phone calls, emails and face-to-face conversations. There is a lot of education to provide. Sometimes family members just need a shoulder to lean on, she continued.
“I’m there to facilitate and ease that last transition but to bring life into that last phase,” Curry said. Whether it be days or weeks, or months, I want them to be happy.”
Her clients often appreciate a listening ear. They want to talk to Curry about their lives or hear a story. She said she has very close relationships with all of her patients..
“I have a gentleman. We do honey bun Wednesday,” she said. “Every Wednesday I bring him a honey bun and his face just lights up. I have a lady and we do M&Ms and Coca Cola and I’ve got another patient and we have a song. Those little things in life makes their day.”
Curry jokes that she is one of a few nurses that hauls medical supplies and hay in the same vehicle. She lives in Choctaw with her two boys along with chickens and goats. Two baby goats will be two-weeks old on Thursday, she said.
Compassion spills over in all facets of her life. Hospice is her forever home, she explained.
“You have to love it and you have to be able to wrap your arms around somebody and just love on them,” Curry said.
Director of Operations Kirk Tarver said he feels they have the right team in place.
“They all have compassion. That’s something you just don’t teach somebody. It has to come from the heart. I didn’t chose hospice when I started. It chose me.”