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Meagan Barker, RN enjoys her job in the ICU Cardiothoracic at Integris Baptist Hospital. “Working with amazing doctors and nurses is a big plus,” commented Meagan.

by Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer

Born and raised in Oklahoma City, OK, Meagan Barker, RN enjoys her job at Integris Baptist Hospital. Meagan works in the Cardiothoracic ICU. Meagan has been a nurse for 6 years and has worked at Integris for almost 4 years. “I just love my job here at Integris. I feel like I am really contributing to a loved one’s life,” she said.
Meagan attended Oklahoma City University for her nursing degree. When I asked Meagan what she wanted to be when she was a little girl, she answered, a chef. “My mom (who is also a nurse) persuaded me to go in another direction, so I decided that I would go for the nursing career instead. I have always had a desire to help others. Also, at one point, my aunt had cancer and was sick. I knew she was dying. I spent a lot of time at the hospital with my mom and I saw how the nurses were so compassionate and how helpful the nurses were. That was when I wanted to take care of others just like they did,” she said.
What qualities make a good nurse? “I think a nurse should have excellent leadership skills, and excellent communication skills. They also need to be very personable with the patients, knowing that compassion is everything,” Meagan replied.
“I feel like communication is so important for teamwork. I am so fortunate to work with some amazing nurses. Teamwork makes dream work. A nurse needs to know how heavily they rely on each other as a team. Like on a ship, if one doesn’t have teamwork, one drowns, they all drown,” Meagan said.
Meagan’s favorite part of her job is taking care of the patients. “Not only are my co-workers amazing, I also get to meet the different families, forming a bond between us. It’s a nice feeling,” Meagan added.
A typical day for Meagan begins early. “From the minute I walk into ICU, there is so much going on. We basically hit the ground running; Beeping alarms are heard throughout the day, never a quiet moment. Doctors and nurses are with the patients. After the many procedures are done and the patients are helped, the end of the work shift has come. We know we have had a productive day, helping others and we know that it is all worth it. It is a feeling of satisfaction that no one can take away,” Meagan said.
Meagan, along with the other nurses stays busy. They work 12 hour shifts, 3 days a week. “We have a 12-bed ICU. We usually have 9 nurses working all the time. The patients that are in ICU are very sick. Dealing with the heart, there are some inclusive procedures, along with the heart transplants. Integris Baptist Hospital is the only hospital in Oklahoma to do some of the extensive procedures. We have excellent doctors here and I am proud to work for such a great hospital,” Meagan said. “Working in ICU can be stressful at times but that is why patients come here. So we can take care of the patients to the best of our ability.”
Meagan’s spare time include spending time with her husband and family. One of my passions in life is running. I also like to cook. If I wasn’t a nurse, I would choose to own a bed and breakfast with a huge kitchen and add a bakery onto the side, she said with a smile.
What advice would you give to someone going into the medical field? “I would tell them the same advice someone gave me when I started. The honeymoon phase will start to wear off and when it does, take the time to celebrate the small things. The best thing about nursing is there are tons of opportunities for us. If you don‘t like one type of nursing, there is another type to choose from. Become a well-rounded nurse,” Meagan said.
I asked Meagan to describe herself. “I am a very caring, compassionate, goal oriented RN that works in the cardiothoracic ICU at Integris Baptist Hospital. I am proud to serve in the Army and Army reserves, unit 94th combat support hospital. I became a nurse to make a difference and help people. I love running with a passion; it is my stress reliever and after a very long day/week/month/year. Like being a nurse and running, I will never get tired of either one,” Meagan replied.

Nursing Leadership Opportunities
• Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Executive, INTEGRIS System (713333)
• RN Administrative Director, FT, Nursing Quality (713184)
• Clinical Director (RN), FT, Days, Emergency Dept (713635)
INTEGRIS Bass Baptist Health Center, Enid
• RN Administrative Director Behavioral Health, FT (713301)
INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Hospital, Yukon
• Vice President – Chief Nursing Officer, FT, Nursing Administration (713732)
• RN Administrative Director, FT, Hospital Administration (713038)
INTEGRIS Deaconess
• Clinical Director (RN), FT, Days, Intensive Care Unit (714158)
• RN Director – Case Management, FT (713819)
To view a complete job description and apply online, visit:
INTEGRIS considers all qualified applicants regardless of protected status as defined by applicable law, including protected veteran or disability status.

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Karen Taylor, DNP, APRN-CNP, PMHNP-BC and the Oklahoma Nurses Association focused on the impact and threat of violence in the profession during their recent annual convention.

by Bobby Anderson, RN, Staff Writer

Karen Taylor, Oklahoma Nurses Association President, worked in psychiatric nursing for a number of years.
The fear of an unstable patient becoming aggressive was always a real possibility every time she set foot on the unit.
But the increasing threat of violence in many more nursing environments has the president of the Oklahoma Nurses Association on edge.
“It’s kind of disheartening that we have to listen to this and learn how to protect ourselves when we go into work,” Taylor said. “We go to work to care for people and nurture them but we have to be there in fight or flight mode nowadays.”
Taylor was speaking at the annual ONA Convention, held in Tulsa recently. This year’s convention – Empowering Nurses: Inspire, Innovate, Influence – focused, in part, on violence in the workplace and offered nurses solutions to help them better protect themselves.
According to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, healthcare workers are at an increased risk for workplace violence.
From 2002 to 2013, incidents of serious workplace violence (those requiring days off for the injured worker to recuperate) were four times more common in healthcare than in private industry on average.
In 2013, the broad “healthcare and social assistance” sector had 7.8 cases of serious workplace violence per 10,000 full-time employees. Other large sectors such as construction, manufacturing, and retail all had fewer than two cases per 10,000 full-time employees.
Speaker after speaker – from emergency room to women’s health clinic settings – shared their experiences with violence in the workplace during the ONA’s annual event.
Speakers from law enforcement and hospital security were also invited to share their perspectives and advice to the nursing profession.
“It’s very near and dear to my heart. It’s always been in my field,” Taylor said of the issue of violence in nursing.“I believe nurses are starting to speak out about it and they don’t want to be treated this way and that’s not what they’re here for.”
The ONA’s House of Delegates passing a workplace violence resolution that read, in part: “that the Oklahoma Nurses Association will no longer tolerate violence of any kind from any source. Nurses must be afforded the same level of respect and dignity as others … and nurses must make a commitment to and accept responsibility for establishing and promoting healthy interpersonal relationships with one another and with all members of the healthcare team.”
Workplace violence consists of physically and psychologically damaging actions that occur in the workplace or while on duty, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases an annual report about injuries and illnesses resulting in time away from work in the United States. In the health care and social assistance sectors, 13% of days away from work were the result of violence in 2013, and this rate has increased in recent years.
Examples of workplace violence included direct physical assaults (with or without weapons), written or verbal threats, physical or verbal harassment, and homicide.
The profession has always been one where nurses feel enduring a certain amount of violences is just part of the job.
“Part of it is perhaps (nurses) don’t know where the line is,” Taylor said. “Part of it is they don’t know their rights basically in situations like that. They probably need more education coming out of nursing school.
“I know when I was teaching I had nurses who told me they didn’t know about mental health because they were going to work in a medical hospital.
“Where do you think our patients go when they are ill?”
The two-day event also afforded nurses the opportunity to network and discuss evidence-based practice happening at their respective facilities.
“Seeing what nurses are doing,” Taylor said of her favorite part of the annual event. “I come from a rural area and I know there are a lot of publications by nurses but I don’t have time to read everything. And some of the publications I read are not from people I know so knowing people from Oklahoma, what they’re doing, the change they’re making, the voice they have in Oklahoma is great.”

Oklahoma Healthcare Authority
Have a Career that Changes Lives
Nurse Care Manager
Searching for a career where you can make a difference?
The Oklahoma Healthcare Authority is hiring for a Registered Nurse who wants to positively impact patient lives through managed care and advocacy.
The ideal candidate will be a clinical specialist, planning and coordinating Care Management for our members, ensuring necessary access to providers and medical services.
This position allows you to work with SoonerCare members, providers, advocacy groups, legislative representatives, other state agencies, and
staff to facilitate Care Management for our members and document their care management needs.
Qualifications include:
• Current/valid license as a Registered Nurse in Oklahoma AND
• Minimum of Two Years Full-Time Professional Clinical Experience
• One Year in an Acute Care Setting


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At Total Foot and Ankle, you will find Dr. Scott Shields, DPM, podiatry specialist. You will also find Tina Bridges CPMA, who has worked for Dr. Shields for 6 years.

by Vickie Jenkins – Writer/Photographer

Did you know that much of your physical pain stems from your feet and that pain can be eliminated? Welcome to Total Foot and Ankle, located at 3330 N.W. 56, Suite 6, in Oklahoma City, OK. Here you will see Dr. Scott Shields, a podiatry specialist. You will also see Tina Bridges, CPMA.
Tina grew up in Wetumka, Oklahoma, a small town in S.E. Oklahoma. “I have worked with podiatry for a little over 20 years now, working for different doctors in Oklahoma City. I have been at this location, working for Dr. Shields for 6 years. I love my job and can’t see doing anything else,” Tina said.
Tina’s typical day at work varies from day to day. “We see about 20 to 30 patients a day but that can change at the last minute, depending on different factors, like the weather or the patient’s situations. I take the patient back to the room and find out what is going on with them. Most of the time, the patients come in and their feet are killing them. They want some relief and that is what we are here to do. After an x-ray and talking to Dr. Shields, he has an answer for the patient,” Tina said. “I go over the treatments with the patients. We try to take care of the patient’s problem as soon as we can. We try to make the patient feel as comfortable as we are able,” Tina said.
“I love seeing the patients and getting to know them. I love to meet new people. Talking is my favorite thing to do,” Tina commented with a laugh. “I am definitely a people person,” she added. “In fact, I’ve never met a stranger.”
What qualities make a good nurse? “Well, I think a nurse needs a lot of patience for her patients. The way I see it, you have to listen to your patient and focus on what they need ASAP. My biggest challenge is when the patient doesn’t listen to the doctor, and they really don’t do what he is telling them to do. When they don’t listen to the doctor, really listen, it slows down their healing process and sometimes, if they don’t comply, it is like a step back and it puts them back to when they first came to see Dr. Shields,” Tina replied. “My advice, do exactly what Dr. Shields says to do,” she added.
Tina has quite a few family members in the medical field. “My grandmother was an LPN, my aunt Rita and I worked together for Dr. Wade at one time and we still work together here for Dr. Shields. I guess I just followed in their footstep as far as that goes,” she said. “It’s kind of like a family tradition now.”
What advice would you give someone going into the medical field? “The best thing I could tell someone is, pay attention no matter what! You are there to learn. Do not quit! When you work for a doctor, cling to his every word. If you do dictation for him, it has to be right! Why, it has to be perfect! One little mistake could make a big difference,” Tina replied.
Now, a few facts about Tina. When Tina was a little girl, she had a dream of being a racecar driver. Tina has two sons 32 and 21. She has two dogs; one Blue Heeler, Herder and one Mutt, Sissy. Tina’s hobbies include gardening, anything outdoors, pool side entertainment and the most exciting hobby, RACING CARS. She grew up racing cars at the fairgrounds on the dirt track. She loves the NHRA (National Hot rod Association) racecars and NASCARS. (National Associate for Stock Cars) Tina, a sweet and gentle person at work, a need for speed, racing cars in her spare time! Ha…Who would have known?
Asking Tina to describe herself, she said, “I’m just a fun-loving out-going girl,” she laughed. “I want to be known for my happy self and my contagious smile. The words I lives by, “Don’t be that guy!” Last but not least, she was asked to sum up her life in one word. “WOW!”
All in all, Tina is a loving, caring individual that takes care of the patients. She is also a bit of a dare devil, seeking the adventurous life on a race track! Tina, you have the bests of both worlds!

Small-town lifestyle. Big-time benefits.
As a Saint Francis Hospital Muskogee nurse, you can enjoy the best of both worlds: a
friendly, small community and the resources of Oklahoma’s largest healthcare provider.
Less than an hour from Tulsa, Muskogee features outstanding cultural and natural
attractions, including numerous lakes and state parks that offer boating, skiing, golfing,
fishing and every other type of outdoor family recreational activity.
Be part of a rapidly growing, locally owned and operated, not-for-profit organization
dedicated to the health and wellness of eastern Oklahoma.
Why now is a great time to join our team:
• $10,000 sign-on bonus and relocation assistance for experienced RNs*
• Great benefits, including paid time off, tuition assistance, medical and dental insurance,
retirement plans, onsite childcare, adoption benefits and more
• We are a qualified not-for-profit organization, so you may be eligible for federal student
loan forgiveness**
To learn more about nursing opportunities at Saint Francis Hospital Muskogee, please
call Melissa at 918-558-8028 or email Mfinklea@saintfrancis.com.
*Applies to registered nurses in select patient units with at least two years of nursing experience. Two-year work commitment
**View program details at studentaid.ed.gov.
EOE Protected Veterans/Disability

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Jim “Steve” Mayhan and Matthew Bonner, MD, emergency medicine physician.

Jim “Steve” Mayhan has more to be thankful for this November as he returns to work after suffering from a severe stroke earlier this year.
Mayhan is a deputy sheriff at the Garvin County Courthouse in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma. On Aug. 16, Mayhan was returning from lunch and grabbed a door handle, feeling like he was shocked, then going completely paralyzed on one side of his body.
Mayhan was able to drag himself down a hallway to get the attention of one of his deputies who called 911. When the ambulance arrived, the paramedics told him he needed to be transported to an Oklahoma City hospital by helicopter, but when he took a turn for the worse, the helicopter diverted to Norman Regional HealthPlex in Norman. Upon arrival to the HealthPlex, Mayhan remembers Matthew Bonner, MD, emergency medicine physician, calling a “code stroke.”
Dr. Bonner told Mayhan they needed to do a computed tomography (CT) scan to see if there was bleeding on his brain, and if there was, he would need to go directly into surgery.
“It was very scary, but we did the CT scan and thank God there was no bleeding on the brain,” Mayhan said.
Mayhan was then given a tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). A tPA has to be administered within four hours of a stroke to be effective.
After stabilizing Mayhan, Norman Regional’s EMSSTAT paramedic team transported him to Norman Regional Hospital, which is home to the health system’s stroke program and dedicated stroke unit. He was admitted directly into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Mayhan said the first night in ICU was long and scary, as he couldn’t feel one of his arms, but he was surprised and excited the next day when he was able to lift his hand.
From the ICU, Mayhan was transferred to the Progressive Care Unit (PCU) before going to Inpatient Rehabilitation. His entire stay totaled nine days.
“I’m glad [the medical flight team] came here because I had a good experience. I have nothing but praise for Norman Regional. I was expected to be in Rehab for two weeks, but instead I was only there for three days. The doctors and nurses kept calling it a ‘remarkable recovery,’ which was the result of the tPA, but they also acknowledged that it had to do with lots of prayers,” Mayhan said. “The doctors, nurses and entire staff—everybody was really good and so caring to us.”
Becky, Mayhan’s wife, said that everyone she came in contact with was good to her and everyone explained everything in detail so she was never left unsure about Mayhan’s treatment plan. Becky stayed by Mayhan’s side the entire nine days. The nurses even showed her a place where she could shower and clean up without having to leave her husband.
“It was a very scary time, but it was a very good experience. This hospital is one of the things to be thankful for—we have a big circle of things to be thankful for this year and God orchestrated it all,” Becky said.
Mayhan walked into the HealthPlex less than two months after his stroke to personally thank Dr. Bonner and his other emergency medicine doctors for saving his life.
Dr. Bonner said he was happy to see how well Mayhan has recovered, commenting on the fact that no one would even be able to tell he recently recovered from a stroke.
“I love hearing ‘thank you,’ especially in person—it means a lot,” Dr. Bonner told Mayhan.
Mayhan is still attending outpatient physical therapy sessions, as well as doing follow up visits with Brett Dees, MD, a board-certified neurologist. Dr. Dees released him back to work this month.
“Dr. Dees is super. He has the best bedside manner I’ve ever seen. He sits and talks to you and makes you feel like you’re somebody important,” Mayhan said.
Now that Mayhan is back to work, he said he’s busy, but feeling great and it seems like everything is smoothing out again.
“I’m very thankful to have this time to just visit after all the dark times we went through. It finally feels like I’m back to my normal life,” Mayhan said.

Seeking quality RN Charge Nurse (11pm – 7am and 7am – 3pm) for our team of caring,
dedicated professionals who desire to make a difference every day.
Work in a positive team environment with leaders who value our staff and the chance to make a difference in the lives of those we serve.
Golden Age Nursing Home is located in historic downtown Guthrie….just a short drive from Oklahoma City and Edmond.
Apply on-line at www.companionhealth.net

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To me nursing is …? Oklahoma Nurses Association Annual Convention

Lifelong learning. I started out naive thinking it was giving shots and putting on Band-Aids.

Karen Taylor, APRN

The profession that encompasses practically all the other professions.

Allen Nottingham, RN

It’s about giving to others and getting lost in service to others.

Denise Barnett, RN

Simple – caring, compassion, accountability and teamwork.

Marticia Hurley, RN

Seeking quality RN Charge Nurse (11pm – 7am and 7am – 3pm) for our team of caring,
dedicated professionals who desire to make a difference every day.
Work in a positive team environment with leaders who value our staff and the chance to make a difference in the lives of those we serve.
Golden Age Nursing Home is located in historic downtown Guthrie….just a short drive from Oklahoma City and Edmond.
Apply on-line at www.companionhealth.net


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Q. I work in health care. I am disillusioned and stressed. I am a nurse but operate more as a secretary. I never wanted to be a secretary. I wanted to work at the bedside taking care of sick patients. I am looking at the curriculum to be a hair stylist. I need suggestions on how to decide the fate of my career. — Jane

A. You included in your question that you have made the following list of the good things about nursing:
* Bedside nursing – I love taking care of my patients.
* 12 hour shifts – Sometimes the 12 hours can be very demanding and tiring but it helps me have more time with my family.
* Flexibility and opportunity – There are many different types of nursing, i.e., hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, rehab centers, etc.
* Education – I have so many opportunities to advance my knowledge and continue learning.
* Benefits – The insurance appears to be good even though my co-pays have gone up.
The bad things – (also known as why I might want to be a hair stylist)
* Unappreciated – I can count on one hand the number of times in the past few months that I have ever received a “good job” from my manager.
* Understaffed – I usually arrive in a good mood and often I find out that we do not have enough nurses and I will now have 6 or 7 very sick patients to provide quality care and keep my pleasant attitude.
* MY HEALTH – I was not taking any medication when I started this job. I am now taking medication for anxiety and I have gained weight. “What is happening.”
* Secretarial Duties – I did not go into nursing to spend so much damn time in front of the computer doing mindless charting, answering phones, making copies, etc.
* Too many hats – I am a nurse and a secretary but I am spending way too much time with mindless charting and answering the endless phone calls.
Jane sums up her dilemma with the following:
So as I look at what I need to do to change careers I am sad. And frustrated. And angry. I graduated from nursing school only to find that nursing seems to be secondary. I am also sad. — Jane


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OMRF immunologist Joan Merrill, M.D.

The National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Health and Human Services have awarded the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation three new grants totaling $5.7 million.
The federal grants span from two to five years and will support the work of a pair of OMRF scientists who are investigating different aspects of autoimmune disease: Judith James, M.D., Ph.D., and Joan Merrill, M.D.
In autoimmune disease, the body mistakenly turns its immune system against itself. Researchers have identified more than 80 autoimmune illnesses, including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Together, these conditions affect as many as 23.5 million Americans.
“There’s a profound need to improve our understanding and treatment of autoimmune diseases,” said James, who also serves as OMRF’s Vice President of Clinical Affairs. “By integrating laboratory studies with patient-oriented research, we hope to accelerate the process of delivering better and more effective care to patients.”
Designated by the NIH as one of only 10 Autoimmunity Centers of Excellence in the U.S., OMRF has long been recognized as a world leader in autoimmune disease research and treatment. OMRF’s clinics provide comprehensive care for patients living with these illnesses, and the foundation’s scientists have played a role in identifying 65 of the 101 known genes for lupus.
The new awards are:
* A $4.37 million grant to James to better understand autoimmune illnesses characterized by pain in the muscles and joints. The project, called the Oklahoma Rheumatic Disease Resources Core Center, will provide resources to help scientists investigate and uncover potential treatments for diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. The project is supported by the NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases under award number P30 AR073750.
* A $1 million award to Merrill to improve recruitment of minority patients to clinical trials of new therapies for lupus.
* A $350,000 grant to Merrill to study the impact of common lupus treatments on the degree to which specific genes are making blueprints (RNA) for proteins that regulate the immune system. This will allow better selection of therapies for individual lupus patients based on their underlying immune profiles.
Funding for these projects will be provided by grants from the Dept. of Defense/U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity (W81XWH-18-1-0693), and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (CPIMP181167).
“OMRF researchers have consistently been at the forefront of research on autoimmune diseases,” said OMRF President Stephen Prescott, M.D. “With this new round of grants, they’ll lay the groundwork for the next generation of breakthroughs.”