CAREERS IN NURSING:
BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE- NORMAN REGIONAL HOSPITAL
by Vickie Jenkins – Writer/Photographer
Recently, I interviewed Dawn Miles, RN, working in the Bariatrics unit at Norman Regional Hospital in Norman OK. Asking why Miles became a nurse, she answered with a smile and a sense of humor, “Well, I’m one of the older nurses and back then, if you went to college, you would become a nurse or a teacher, depending on what you were good at in school. Those were the only two options or so it seemed. I was good at science and math and was drawn to medicines and the different actions of how they work in the body so I chose to be a nurse. That was 34 years ago and I have loved it ever since.”
There are several qualities that make a good nurse, according to Miles. “I think the biggest one is being a good listener. A nurse needs to listen to what the patient is saying, letting them know that you really do understand. A nurse needs to know how to make good judgement calls and know the patient’s medication,” Miles says. “On a personal note, I feel like I need to let the patient know they can trust me. They will know that I am the nurse that will be taking care of them for the next 12 hours and I am going to be there for them. It’s not easy for anyone to be in the hospital and if they have my trust, it makes them feel like they are in control and this makes them feel important. Earn their trust and the patient will trust you,” Miles adds.
“What is your biggest challenge in the medical field in the year 2015?” I ask Miles. “There seems to be a lot more going on in the hospital today,” she says. “When I first started, the nurses were actually on the surgical floors, taking care of the patients, forming a close nurse/patient relationship. Back then, nurses were helping the surgeons and the CMA’s would help the patients. As far as technology goes, the computers work out more efficiently, working out for the best but it does take away from the closeness of a nurse and their patient. I have to admit, I miss that part of it.”
Miles considers her biggest asset as listening. “I really listen to the patient. Sometimes, I think us nurses have a sense if something is wrong with the patient. Not everything is black and white or as it appears so sometimes, we have to go by our gut feelings. We look for what is right or wrong and then we act on it, making sure we do the right thing.”
“What is your favorite thing about your job?” I ask Miles. “It is when the patient says something positive about their visit here at the hospital. They tell us how they were so scared when they got here, how they didn’t know what was going on or what to expect but we made them feel comfortable. Each patient has a different personality and somehow, the nurses made them feel like the most important person at that time, showing love and respect.”
Miles enjoys spending time with her 2 daughters, 24 and 27. “My late husband was a physician, and my oldest daughter is a physician,” Miles says. My youngest daughter is a chemical engineer with a Masters in financing. She plans on going into pediatrics. Commenting that she had done a great job raising 2 daughters, Miles replied, “I always told my daughters that they could do anything they set out to do, they could have any job they wanted to have. I encouraged them along the way. I am so proud of my daughters!” she adds.
Some advice that Miles would give to someone going into the medical field is to always do your best and learn as much as you possibly can. Don’t get tainted and don’t give up. Love what you are doing,” she says. “What is your biggest blessing of all? “Oh, my biggest blessing is definitely my children,” she says with a smile.
“I have always wanted to please others,” Miles says. I have a desire to be the best person I can be, always producing and promoting whatever job or task it might be. I try to always be positive.”