by Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer
Kayla Hinkle, BSN and RN works at Norman Regional Healthplex in Post Coronary Care Unit. Kayla explained why she is a nurse and give a perfect example of the meaning of being a nurse. Kayla says the real reason that she became a nurse was not just to help others but goes a little deeper with her reasoning. “I think the true beauty of nursing is in the details. It is investigating the specific details of each patient’s case and connecting the dots to lead to better treatment and outcomes. It is taking the time to review the chart, think critically, stay up to date on research and then, take the information an advocate for your patient, if necessary. It is talking with the patient and finding out what makes the patient unique and then creating an environment that feels a little safer and calmer. It is switching places with the patient, metaphorically and thinking, ‘If I was in bed, what would be driving me crazy right now or what would make my day better?’ It is simply talking to the patient about her grandchildren, dogs, flowers and of course, helping people. For me, the best way I have found to achieve that is by doing the small things and doing them right,” Kayla explained.
Growing up in Newcastle, OK, Kayla graduated in 2008. “Half-way through my senior year, I moved to Washington, DC so I didn’t attend the second half of my senior year but had enough college credits to graduate early and got to walk in the spring with my class. I graduated from UCO with my BSN in December 2014,” Kayla said. I have been a nurse for five and half years I have worked all of my nursing life in step-down cardiac.”
When Kayla was little, she thought she wanted to be a doctor all the way up until she applied for nursing school. “I completed all the Pre-Med requirements, took the MCAT, and filled out my medical school applications, but when I started to send them off, I couldn’t do it. It was then, I decided that I wanted to go to nursing school.”
“My first job as a nurse was at Integris Southwest Medical Center on the IMC floor. I was a staffing clerk at ISMC during nursing school and had my heart set on IMC from the beginning. IMC was deemed, by most, as the hardest unit to work on, which is why I wanted to stay there. I did my externship and then got hired as a nurse resident and worked there for almost three years, eventually progressing to Team Manager. That made me the nurse I am today. It was tough but it ingrained in me time management, critical thinking, balance of different acuity of patients and most importantly teamwork.
Asking Kayla to describe herself, she said, “I am a red-head which means I can be a little sarcastic and feisty sometimes, but am loyal as they come. I am built on God, family and friends. My husband is my best friend and the love of my life. He and I are a two-person gang,” she said with a laugh.
Did anyone influence you to be a nurse? “Yes, my sister, Tara Vogt. While going to UCO and completing my Pre-Med requirements, I was working on the Oncology floor as a Health Unit Coordinator and my sister was a nurse on the floor at that time. At that time, I saw the flexibility and freedom nursing offered, even thinking the lifestyle looked better than the lifestyle of the doctors. I was also able to see my sister become almost like a superhero version of herself. When she was into nursing, it is like she has an alter ego. I wanted that!”
Kayla considers herself more of a leader, than a follower but says it depends on the team. “I am usually comfortable when leading but not such a follower, unless I am following someone that I highly respect, then, I am a dutiful follower,” Kayla replied.
Asking Kayla to sum up her life in one word, she was quick to reply. “Grace. Grace has always been there for me. It is through Grace that I am saved. It is by Grace that I have faith, making it through this. It is by Grace that I am able to be a nurse.”