Set for Success Med/Surg is a Mission for RN

Earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at Oklahoma Baptist University.

Elizabeth Walker, RN, brings an altruistic spirit to her med/surg career at Community Hospital North, located in Oklahoma City.

Elizabeth Walker, RN, lets her patients know that their concerns are being heard. She strives to provide comfort and care in a timely manner, making surgical patients feel wanted and cared for.
As a med/surg nurse at Community Hospital North, she mainly works with patients who’ve had orthopedic surgeries involving hip, knee and other bone and joint problems.
Patients are sometimes disoriented, scared, or in a lot of pain when coming out of anesthesia, she said. A few patients may not always be the kindest. But the time she spent as a psych nurse taught her de-escalation skills to help her understand the patient experience. She has a knack in understanding why her patients are feeling a certain way.
“They’re not mad at me. They’re in a lot of pain. There are a lot of situations going on. So, I can’t take things personally. All I can do is show them kindness and show them that they can yell at me or scream at me or do whatever you need to do to get your anger out,” Walker explained. “But I’m still going to be here to help you because that’s my job. That’s what I do and that’s what I love to do.”
Nurses don’t generally enter the profession with a lot of burnout. But sometimes situations they’ve been in for several years when they have been verbally and physically abused wears and tears on their endurance until they have nothing left to give, Walker said.
“Nurses work so much and so hard, and sometimes we’re not always appreciated as we need to be,” Walker said.
This may cause some nurses nationwide to give up on compassion. But Walker said there is an ongoing shift of nurses being reinvigorated with compassion.
“We’re seeing nurses take time off and prioritizing themselves. It might start with this generational shift. But it’s more like if I can’t fill my cup up, then I can’t pour it into somebody else,” Walker explained.
Walker experiences joy when a patient thanks her for helping them diminish their fears.
“They will be talking to their family and say, ‘Oh, she’s such a great nurse. She does what she says she’s going to do. She lives up to her word.’”
Building trust with her patients is an intrinsic part of nursing. Walker is a nurse because she wants to make patients feel loved and welcomed even if it is for a short time.
She has continued to learn since her nursing career began three years ago after earning her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at Oklahoma Baptist University. Walker began working in a neurological step-down unit and a pediatric psych unit at another metro hospital. She worked with a lot of children who had experienced traumatic situations.
“There is only so much I can do as a nurse. But there is so much I can do as a nurse. I can get the right word to the right people whether that be physicians, therapists, or case managers.”
Today, she can offer the same helpful navigation at Community Hospital North when patients are worried about going home and need further resources for care.
“We make sure when you go home that you have the resources that you need,” Walker said. “My care doesn’t end when I’m out this door. I’m going to do everything I can to fight for you and fight with you to make sure you are set for success.”
Walker said she has dealt with her own physical and mental ailments in life without having the right support team.
“Whatever I can do to help somebody go through that better than I went through that – absolutely, I’m going to do everything I can 110 percent.”
Health is a life-long journey. She has made the right career choices to be at the right place.
Walker heard great things about working at Community Hospital North. And she felt a sense of peace in her decision.
“I didn’t feel judged. It’s just been amazing. Everybody was very supportive, and they’ve been very kind in teaching me how to do things. They’ve been very welcoming,” Walker said.
“All I hear from the patients all the time is how kind they are,” she said of the nursing staff.
There’s always another chance to learn from a challenging problem. Walker said she has never felt condemned by making a mistake.
“They’re very quick to encourage me when I do something good. They’re very quick to say that it was a great job.”