by Vickie Jenkins – Writer/Photographer
Meet Staci Deland, RN, Care Manager at the Indian Clinic in N.W. Oklahoma City, OK. Attending school at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, OK, Oklahoma City Community College and Metro Tech, both in Oklahoma City, OK, she worked at several hospitals over the years but knew that the Indian Clinic would be a perfect fit for her. “Those schools were great and I loved it.” she said. “I am Native American and the patients at the Indian Clinic really seem to open up and relate to me. It is nice when we have so much in common. I feel very fortunate to have this job and I enjoy it so much,” she adds.
Asking Deland if she had any mentors in school, she replies, “All of my teachers were my mentors and I appreciated each one of them. My friends in school soon became small groups and we would help each other. I think that my LPN friends were my biggest mentors. I am still in contact with some of those teachers and friends.”
Deland knew she would work in the medical field when she was little. “My grandmother was a nurse and she was always telling me how much she liked it. She would say, ‘Staci, you need to be a nurse.’ Everyone told me that I had the perfect personality since I liked being around others and taking care of them. I also had an aunt that was a nurse. I guess you could say that I was kind of pushed into it,” she says with a laugh.
Describing herself concerning her job, Deland says, “I am a very friendly person or so I am told. I work hard, doing the best job I can and I always stay positive. My favorite thing about my job is the fact that I get to talk to all of the patients. I want to learn new things and I always get very excited about learning.”
“In your opinion, what makes a good nurse?” I ask Deland. “I think a good nurse needs to have lots of patience. She needs to be flexible and realize the schedule will change at the last minute. A nurse needs to have diligence and be there for their patient. That person needs to be a good student and continue to give it their all. Also, going into the medical field gives someone so many options. There will some good days and some bad days but I can tell you for sure, the good days outweigh the bad. Just go into it telling yourself, I can do it!”
“The biggest challenge in the medical field right now is how the technology of the computer has changed everything so much,” Deland says. “There are a lot of changes going on right now and I am proud to say that I have become computer savvy. The advantages to the change in technology is how the patients are being taken care of and we, as in healthcare, can move forward.”
Deland tells me that her favorite part of the job is communicating with the patients and their families, relating to them in a special way. “It is so much fun when we hear the patients talking about the Native American and all of the tribes, parades, and Pow-Wows. Some of the patients can speak the language fluently,” she comments. “My grandmother is from the Native American tribe, Winnebago. She was fluent in the language at the age of 5 and now, she teaches the children to speak the language. I am proud of my heritage.”
“Do you have any hobbies,” I ask Deland. “Well, I am a big OU fan so I am excited about the football season. I love to paint pictures; it is very relaxing for me. I guess you could say that I am a musical/athlete because I play tennis and play the clarinet,” she states. “I am also expecting my first baby in January so I am getting ready to be a new mother soon so there is so much that goes along with having a baby.”
Asking Deland if she had any words to live by, she replied. “Be friendly, stay positive and enjoy life.”