by Vickie Jenkins
Visiting Saint Anthony’s Hospital in Shawnee, Oklahoma, I was impressed with the kindness and greetings I received from the doctors and the nurses. I interviewed Andrea Jones, RN and charge nurse of ICU. What a pleasant individual!
Andrea Jones always knew that she wanted to be a nurse. “When I was little, my younger brother and I were always playing. Every time he got a scratch or a little bruise, I would run over and take care of his wounds by wrapping him with sticks and toilet paper,” she said with a laugh. “He was a sight to see and looking back, I laugh about it now.”
“The way I actually became a nurse is a little unusual,” Jones says. “It was when my 2-year-old daughter got double pneumonia and she was in the hospital. The nurse that took care of her was really rude and I was thinking to myself, if I were a nurse, I would make sure to be a good nurse and care about the patients and their feelings. That is what really sparked me to become the best nurse that I could be. That nurse really helped me to decide to be in the medical field. Now, I’ve been a nurse for nine years.”
“I started out as a nurse’s aide in a nursing home. In fact, I think all nurses should start out as a CNA because that is when I learned a lot,” Jones says. “My dad was in the oil field business so we moved from Oklahoma to Texas quite a bit, and I worked for several doctors along the way. After that, I worked at OU in the ER and Trauma for five years. Now, I am the charge nurse in the Intensive Care Unit. I talk to all of the nurses and patients, making sure everything is going as planned. We have got such a great staff of doctors and nurses here, it is just awesome,” she adds.
Jones said that the most rewarding part of her job is the fact that she gets to care for people and she gets to help the patients and their families. “There is nothing like the feeling of having a patient appreciate the work I do and then, later that patient comes back to give me a big thank-you and a hug. The patients are all like my friends and family,” Jones comments.
Asking Jones to describe herself, she told me that she is just a simple, country, down-to-earth person. I am loyal, pleasant and really enjoy getting to know my patients. I earn their trust. “Do you have any hobbies?” I ask. “I love doing anything outside; camping, fishing, watching the sunset. My husband and I are like the Brady Bunch. We are a blended family and he had 4 boys and I had 2 girls, ages: 25,20,19,17,17,12 plus 2 grandsons, 4 and 2. We live on a farm and we have 18 animals; dogs, cats, cows, horses, goats and pigs,” she said with a laugh. “Yes, it stays pretty busy around our house. I love my life!”
“Did you have any mentors in school?” I ask. “Not in school but when I began as a new nurse, there was someone that I could always depend on for their help and it was Linda Mecklenburg that took me under her wing. Of course, being a new nurse, I thought she was pretty tough but I learned so much from her. She taught old school and knew everything. I admire her to this day and will always be thankful for what she did for me.”
Asking if Jones had any words to live by, she replied, “I want to make sure that I treat others the way they want to be treated. I treat every patient like they are my family.” “What inspires you to come to work every day?” “I believe that God gave me the gifts to be a nurse. Everyone is so special here. Dr. Anderson, Dr. Tony Haddad and Dr. Damera are special in their own way and all of them are AMAZING. This is such an awesome hospital. I love my job.”