Nurses across the nation will be recognized by their places of employment and the community during Nurses’ Week, set for May 6 through 12.
Locally, nurses will largely celebrate during work.
Current conducted a Q&A with three nurses – Samantha Murphy in the postpartum unit at IU Health North, Paula Boller in the post-anesthesia care unit at Eskenazi Hospital and Molly Beck in the emergency/urgent care at Riverview Health Westfield Hospital.
Murphy is a Westfield resident, Boller is a Westfield resident and Beck is a Sheridan resident.
What is your nursing background?
Murphy: I went to Indiana University Kokomo, and I graduated in 2016 with my
bachelor’s in nursing. I’m currently enrolled for my master’s in nursing, which I should be getting in December. I also have maternal newborn nursing certification as well. I wanted to do nursing mostly because both my parents worked in different parts of the medical field. I’ve been around medical- and hospital-related jobs for as long as I can remember. It’s always been interesting to me.
Boller: I have been a registered nurse for five years, graduated from the University of Indianapolis. This is a second career for me as I was previously in property management. I began my career at St. Vincent Carmel hospital as a staff nurse on the night shift. Working nights was not a good fit for me or my family, so I accepted a position at Eskenazi Hospital where I have worked for 4 1/2 years. I started working in their critical care area. The knowledge I gained from working in that setting is invaluable. I currently work in Eskenazi’s PACU (post-anesthesia care unit). I thoroughly enjoy working as a PACU nurse.
Beck: I graduated from Purdue University in May 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. My original course of study was biology, but I was struggling to identify a career path that I would enjoy. I explored my options on campus and thought nursing would be a good, practical application of biology. I have practiced as a nurse consistently since 1999, and I have always worked in the emergency room. I’m dyed in the wool, so to speak.
What is your favorite part of nursing?
Murphy: I think the biggest thing, other than helping people, is that there’s so many different possibilities and opportunities you can choose. You don’t have to stick with one particular job or location. You can switch different units and there are so many options, you never get bored.
Boller: Nursing was a career that I always felt called to. While physically and mentally draining at times, the rewards I get from interacting with patients and families makes it worth it and is a reminder of why I went into nursing.
Beck: I am an adrenaline junkie, so I enjoy caring for critically or acutely ill patients. My favorites over the years have been those people who have an unexpected cardiac event, and we have been able to restore them to health and send them home to their families.
What is the most challenging part of nursing?
Murphy: One of the challenging parts is you never can predict the amount of (patients) you’re going to have. One day you can have 12 deliveries, and the next day there’s none. It’s kind of hard to know exactly what you’ll walk in to.
Boller: In my experience, two of the biggest challenges in nursing I face are the physical toll it takes on your body with the constant lifting and turning of patients in a society where the majority of the population is overweight, and pain management and managing the patient’s expectations of an acceptable level of pain in an environment where we have an opioid crisis.
Beck: I think the biggest challenge today is providing the care that patients need amidst increasing regulations or expectations from multiple sources. Between government and accrediting bodies, insurance and third-party payers, and even information available via the internet, it can be difficult to provide excellent patient care when being questioned or second-guessed about every action.
Nurses’ Week plans
All three nurses said most of their Nurses’ Week celebrations will occur in the hospital.
“I don’t really do anything for it, usually, but at work they will have different treats or
something each day of the week,” IU Health North nurse Samantha Murphy said. “Sometimes, my mom gets me a card.” Beck said she doesn’t have special plans, either.
“I am not doing anything special, nor does my family do anything for Nurses’ Week. However, the hospital and the ER do make a lot of effort to show us their appreciation during the week,” Beck said. “There are small prizes given away, complimentary meals and treats, and even our emergency physicians’ group will chip in for a special ‘thank-you’ to the nurses.”
Eskenazi Hospital nurse Paula Boller said her hospital recognizes nurses during the week.
“Our hospital system does an excellent job at celebrating their nursing staff with many different treats throughout the week,” she said.