May 6, 2021

Nursing and the Whole Person

The average nurse walks about 16,394 steps a day, according to Healthline. They are on their feet from the moment they arrive on their unit to the moment they end their shift.

In 2020, research results published by Gallup, a global analytics and advice firm, recognized nursing as the most trusted and ethical profession in the United States. Past research results from the same study show little change in consumer trust in the nursing profession. According to many people, nurses are truly incredible.

“I decided to become a nurse because I found the work challenging, and my days were always interesting,” Trish Celano, AdventHealth’s chief nursing executive, said. “The start of a 12-hour shift sometimes felt like walking onto the stage of a play that had already started. I was not just walking into a patient’s hospital room but into their entire lives. It was amazing to me that I could go from not knowing someone and then within a few minutes be right there in the middle of their world, which typically was crashing down. I couldn’t help but ask myself, Was there something that patient or family needed that I was going to provide?”

From the chief nursing executive to the front-line bedside nurse, AdventHealth nurses at all levels of the organization step into the lives of those they serve, providing whole-person care in body, mind, and spirit.

Mentoring the Workforce of the Future

Jessica Hubert, medical-surgical nurse at AdventHealth Gordon, was working the night shift after 12 weeks of orientation. She and another nurse on the floor were finishing their tasks, experiencing things they never encountered during orientation as they sought to provide care to their patients. Hubert said the moment seemed ordinary, but it was in this hospital, AdventHealth Gordon, that she knew she was called to be a nurse.

After four years, Hubert still remembers the moment where she felt God whisper to her, “This is what I have for you.” As she ponders her past, she said she remembers what it was like to start as a nurse and knows that she was called to mentor younger nurses in the field.

“There is a girl who is a senior in nursing school, and she is in her clinical rotation right now,” Hubert said. “She was assigned to my floor, and everyone is doing their best to educate and mentor her. I feel like it all goes full circle, because I was in her shoes once. I want to be an educator in nursing school. There is so much to learn about the nursing world, and graduating nursing school is just the beginning.”

Nursing may be one of the most trusted professions, but with that trust comes great responsibility. Many people look up to nurses and view them as effective and strong problem solvers when it comes to a crisis or challenging case.

“I feel like with nursing, sometimes we won’t know all the answers, but the important thing is that we show up for our patients and do what we can to help them feel whole,” Hubert said. “More importantly, we must work with the research that we do have to identify the best possible outcomes for our patients.”

Hubert had a patient a few months prior who was very sick but did not know what the problem was. The patient's clinical tests consistently came back negative, and the staff were perplexed as they sought ideas for the next steps as the man's condition progressed. Even so, the man and his wife were appreciative of the nursing staff for their dedication.

“I was overwhelmed by how appreciative the patient and his wife were to our medical staff. I could see how he desired to take ownership of his own health. When I see patients listen to our advice, it’s one of the most rewarding parts about being a nurse,” Hubert said. “With this situation, consistent consultations with specialists and hospitalists helped us to rule out more serious conditions. Eventually, we were able to diagnose the patient, and he returned home within a three-week time frame.”

Hubert is strong in her faith and continues to compassionately provide care despite the challenges this past year has brought to the health-care profession. She stated that her faith and church family have sustained her during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is one way she practices self-care while continuing to provide compassionate care to her patients.

No doubt, the past year has been a challenge for nurses and other health professionals across the world. Understanding this, Celano stresses the importance of self-care to all her colleagues at AdventHealth as they carry out the important mission of Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ.

“I practice self-care and encourage nurses at AdventHealth to do the same. Personally, I like taking time with my family and doing things that I enjoy, like reading, cooking, camping, and fishing,” Celano said. “I dedicate daily devotion time, which is fundamental to my spiritual and mental health. At AdventHealth, we encourage nurses to prioritize self-care through proper nutrition, rest, and exercise as important components to feel whole.”

The original version of this story was posted by Southern Tidings.