CAREERS IN NURSING
LOVE FOR BABIES IS CRYSTAL CLEAR – ALLIANCE WOODWARD HOSPITAL
by Vickie Jenkins – Writer/Photographer
Meet Crystal Waddell, RN, BSN who has an important role at AllianceHealth Woodward Hospital, Woodward, OK. A happy and cheerful disposition, it is easy to see why Crystal enjoys her job working in obstetrics. She is one of the nurses that can be found helping the doctors deliver a baby or assisting the new moms with their newborn. Either way, it is obvious that Crystal loves her job and is a shining light to those that she comes in contact with. “I love bringing new life into this world,” Crystal comments. “There are usually about 25-30 babies born here each month. Not only do we take care of the people in Woodward, we see patients from the surrounding areas; Mooreland, Sharon, Fargo, Gage, Vici and even a few people from Texas. The patients feel safe with us. The staff makes our hospital a place of healing and caring for patients and families, making it a place they can call home,” she adds.
Crystal was born in Wichita, Kansas, and later, moved to Oklahoma. She went to nursing school at High Plains Technology Center in Woodward, OK and received her RN at Northwestern in Alva, OK. Overall, Crystal has been a nurse for over 10 years. When asked if there was any one person that influenced her to become a nurse, she replied, “No, it was my own decision; wanting to care of others, knowing that nursing was the right choice for me. Actually, I knew I wanted to be a nurse since I was 16 years old. I have always had a soft heart for people in general. I enjoy taking care of others and am happy with the career that I am following.”
“In your opinion, what qualities make a good nurse?” I ask. “I think a nurse needs to have a lot of compassion, empathy, critical thinking and be a team player. Each one of those qualities is as important as the other, playing a key role in every situation.” When I asked Crystal what she thought her strongest asset was, she was quick to reply. “My strongest asset is compassion. I feel a real need to take care of others,” she said with confidence. “How would you describe yourself in 3 words?” “I am emotional, strong-willed and caring. Well, that’s what others say about me,” she said with a smile.
“What is your favorite thing about your job as a nurse?” I ask. “Oh, that’s easy,” Crystal replied. “It is bringing new life into the world; a miracle in itself. Also, I love the feeling I get when the patient tells me how much I mean to them and how I have helped with their baby. I am so thankful that I was a part of their new bundle of joy. I love what I do,” she smiled. “What is the most challenging part of your job?” “For me, it is the fact that, sometimes, it is hard to balance my home life, stay healthy and work long hours. I usually work 12-13 hour shifts and that can be very hard to do while taking care of a family. It always seems to work out though.”
Crystal likes to spend as much time as possible with her husband, Kent and her 7 year old son, Jack. “Jack is so excited about going into first grade,” she said. Plus, Crystal shared the exciting news that their new baby will be arriving very soon. No wonder she seemed to be glowing! Asking Crystal if she had any hobbies, she replied, “I‘m into kickboxing. I did a lot of that in school, but am not able to do it right now since I am pregnant. I also like to crochet,” she said. Asking Crystal if she knew if the baby would be a girl or boy, she replied, “Oh, we are going to wait and find out when the baby is born. Kind of like the old-fashion way. We want to be surprised.”
Ending the interview, I asked Crystal what inspires her to go to work every day. “It is definitely my patients. I love each one of them so much and am thankful that I work in such a loving, caring place. It’s like we are all family.”