PASSION IN NURSING
THE BEST TOOL FOR A NURSE : BETHANY BEHAVIORAL
by Vickie Jenkins – Writer/Photographer
Bethany Behavioral Health is where you will find specialized care for adults over the age of 55. Here, they will receive specialized intervention and stabilization services in a safe and secure setting with 24-hour supervision.
This is an acute facility. The staff includes psychiatrists, psychologists, registered nurses and master’s-level health professionals dedicated to helping patients recover.
An outstanding individual in the medical field is Mike Rackley, RN. “We deal with different types of problems here. It could be mental, behavioral, alcohol or an EOD, an emergency order from a doctor or a hospital dealing with suicide or homicide. The patients usually stay for 5-12 days, until we feel like they have recovered in a healthy way,” Mike commented.
Mike deals with adults and geriatrics at Bethany Behavioral Health, along with traveling to Cedar Ridge Hospital, acute and residential, dealing with adolescents and children, ages 5-17. “I like working at both health facilities. Of course, there is such diversity between the ages; different problems and different attitudes. Either place, it is very rewarding knowing that I am helping someone get better,” Mike said.
Born and raised in Oklahoma, Mike went to OU where he received a degree in microbiology. He was a teacher at N.E. Academy for twelve years. “I enjoyed teaching but decided I wanted to go into the medical field. I went to nursing school and have been a nurse for five years now. My first job as a nurse was working in Cardiac ICU at a hospital. I have been here at Bethany Behavioral Health for two years and I am currently going to school to be a nurse practitioner. Only one and half years to go,” he said with a smile. “I just want to further my education and continue to learn,” he added.
Asking Mike how he became interested in working in Psychiatrics, he said he knew someone that had gotten their medications mixed up and went to a behavioral center to straighten him out. “I was so impressed with the doctors and nurses there; I knew that was what I wanted to do. I have always had a desire to be in the medical profession, even when I was a little boy. I even had the nickname DOC for the longest time.”
What is the favorite part of your job? “Oh, it is definitely the education and the teaching. The patients are at a critical time in their lives and they need help. This is also the time I have to be a good listener, really listening to them and teaching! Beyond the shadow of a doubt, teaching the patient is my favorite part of my job!” Mike replied.
What is your biggest challenge? “That would be when I see a patient and they don’t want to listen. I have a plan of recovery for them and they don’t want to take that path. They are at a crossroad and they are the one that has to make the decision. I can’t make it for them,” Mike said.
What qualities make a good nurse to work in the Psychiatrics? “First of all, there needs to be a lot of empathy. Empathy is the best tool a nurse can have along with looking at the patient overall and setting a goal for them. A nurse has to be a good listener. There is so much you can learn from listening to your patient and their families. Also, I think a nurse needs to have a desire to continue to learn. I would also tell them to be prepared for anything. A nurse never knows what is going to happen next; there is a new challenge every day,” he answered.
Mike is married to his wonderful wife Melanie and they have three daughters, Cheyenne, (married) Zion, 3, and Shiloh who is almost 2 years old. Mike enjoys attending church and spending time with his family. “I am also an auctioneer. I can really get loud when I am out on the floor, I have a gift of gab,” he said with a laugh. “I also like fishing, hunting and golf,” he added.
Describing himself, Mike said, “I am caring and I like to help others. I am open minded about things and like learning about new techniques and new strategies. I love teaching. By the end of the day, I feel like my life is fulfilled.
”If you were summing up your life in one word, what would it be? Mike had a quick answer, “GOD.”