by James Coburn, Staff Writer
Stacy Parsons, RN, is a jack of all trades at Bone & Joint at SSM Health Bone & Joint Hospital at St. Anthony, located in Oklahoma City. She does it all as the charge nurse on the second floor Joint Center.
“If my nurses need me to run and a patient a med — I go give a patient a med,” Parsons said. “I don’t like to just sit in an office and manage something. I find it better if I’m on the floor with the nurses.”
She tries to introduce herself to every new patient. For Parsons, nursing is getting people’s joints replaced and getting them back to their lives. She lets them know if their nurse is busy, they can always call on her. And when a nurse tech needs to take a quick restroom break, Parsons is there. (story continues below)
“I want them to have a very positive experience. I want them to feel like family,” said Parsons, who has been with Bone & Joint for nearly four years.”
She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at the University of Central Oklahoma.
Bone & Joint has been good to her. Parsons said she loves knowing she can speak with any of the doctors and be respected. They value her opinion and are quick to point out their gratitude when she brings something to their attention. She has every one of them on speed dial and they answer quickly, she continued.
This family spirit was the prime reason Parsons chose a nursing career. Nursing is her second career. Her grandfather was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease when she was an accountant.
“The nurses really took care of him and came by the house,” said Parsons, who recognized accounting was not her calling in life. “They seemed to really care, and I said, ‘I really appreciate how you’re taking care of my father and my grandfather.’ I was like, ‘That’s what I want to do.’’
It was a life-changing moment for her. She served as an ER nurse for several years. The saddest thing she ever saw at another hospital was seeing children there. Children should not have to be faced with injury or sickness, she said.
“I think they should just be running and playing,” Parson added. “But then on the flip side, you’d have this elderly patient coming in. You make them feel better and get them up and moving around and they’re like, ‘I’m so glad you’re here to take care of me.’ It’s like a weight off their shoulders and they know we’re going to take care of them.”
Safety and teamwork are the main goals of the Bone & Joint nursing staff. Some newly arrived patients feel a little uneasy because of their experiences after surgery at other hospitals. She tells them that is not going to happen at Bone & Joint. Nurses want patients to be comfortable and secure during their time at the hospital.
“I tell them anytime there is a problem, you call me,” she said.
She makes it known to staff members that they are serving humanity. If that is not what they want to do, then they need to re-think their career path, she explained.
“We get a lot of hugs and people say, ‘You guys took such great care of us.’ I tell everyone that is our job, to make sure you are safe and that you feel you are taken care of because you’re never a burden. You’re our priority.’ That’s the way I want them to feel, and I’ve never had a complaint yet,” she said.
Her advice for nursing students is to do a rotation of any nursing field they consider. Graduates need to recognize their forte when considering a career. She appreciates those nurses who stayed in their careers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Right now, we’re in the back portion of the pandemic, but we’re not totally done with it,” she said.
Nurses learned a lesson during the pandemic about how they would react to a deadly virus, she said.
It’s her hope that nursing school graduates don’t choose nursing because they want to make a lot of money.
“Money should not be your primary objective,” she said. “I’ve told that to many people. You really need to have a passion for what you’re going to do because you’re going to be doing it for a long time. You’ve got to care. You’ve got to want to go to work every day to take care of that patient, to help them get better, to get back to their everyday living.”
Her everyday life includes her family. Parsons finds many opportunities to rejuvenate and relax.
“We’re outdoorsy people,” she said.
She and her husband go fishing at the lake a lot, and they just returned from vacationing at a Florida beach. They like to scuba dive and go snow skiing.
For more information about SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital visit https://www.ssmhealth.com/careers