by James Coburn
Every nurse Tara Jameson works with is hard working.
“They are truly here for patient care,” said Jameson, RN, charge nurse at St. Anthony Healthplex North in Oklahoma City.
“They are driven by the need and want of taking care of people.”
Jameson has been a registered nurse since 2000 when she graduated from OSU/OKC. She joined Saints in January. She began her career working in the arena of liver transplants for seven years. In 2003, she transitioned into emergency medicine.
“I love the variety of children, cardiac, burns and stroke. You never know what’s going to walk in the door. It keeps you on your toes,” she said.
Her boss recruited her to St. Anthony Healthplex North from another Oklahoma City Hospital.
“It was such a breath of fresh air to come to a Christian facility,” Jameson said. “I feel they really back up what they say. They have a mission that takes care of people. It’s a great change for me.”
Jameson said the pace of her nursing career in a hospital devoted to emergency care appeals to her. And her caring spirit is helpful for patients in trauma or types of injuries and sickness that she meets.
She learned a lot about life from her mother, also a nurse, and one Jameson describes as an amazing hero who manages labor and delivery at another hospital. Carol Chambless, her mother, has always been a compassionate hard working model of success for Jameson.
“Every time I would go to work with her, I would sit in awe at what my mom was doing. Everyone was always telling me, ‘Your mom is such a great nurse. Your mom is so awesome,’” Jameson said. “I just always wanted to be a nurse since I was a little girl.”
St. Anthony Healthplex North provides all the technology, values, work ethic and team spirit Jameson needs to be part of a system of care. Physicians have offices at the site.
“It flows. It’s so good. We all work together and we know each other. And it’s so easy to have your walkie talkie and say, ‘Hey I need help in here.’ The doctors can call us upstairs and we’re there. Or MRI on the other side of the building can call. It’s great. With our management, I can call Justin anytime. He takes care of anything and it doesn’t matter what time.”
The word, emergency, implies that people do not wake up in the morning planning a trip to a hospital. People are in pain or bewildered with the unforeseen event of an emergency room. Some people have never been to an ER. They may be experiencing a heart attack for the first time.
Jameson’s approach is one of empathy. Her sister passed away in July from cancer. It was a terrible two year battle Jameson’s family experienced.
“We had to step back, my mother and I both as nurses, into that patient role with her,” Jameson said. “It was a good reminder to me being in the field as long as I have. It was a terrible experience but it was good for me to come back to that patient role of little things I don’t think about in my every day role as a nurse.
“The monitor is beeping. Well, I know it’s not a scary alarm, but they don’t know that. They might be cold. They are tired. They are tired of hurting. They are scared. They are hungry most of the time because they can’t eat. It was the little things that I came back in check with when I went through that process with her. It even made me a better nurse.”
Jameson emphasizes keeping family members involved with what is transpiring with their loved one. There is a large pediatric population of patients coming to St. Anthony Healthplex North.
Parents may be terrified when their child has cut a finger.
“It’s scary to them,” Jameson said. “It’s not an every day ordeal for them and we try to reassure them and tell them step-by-step what we’re going to be doing.”
Patients and their families need to be updated, Jameson said.
Several patients have already been treated for influenza at Healthplex North. Jameson preaches hand washing.
The biggest preventive measure is hand washing, covering your mouth and washing your hands. I even do it with my children, my teenagers at home, I say, ‘How many times a day at school are you washing your hands?’”