Being a helpful person has been a lifelong calling for Jhonni Jones.
As a child, Jones would try to take care of every stray animal she could find, and she was there to assist family members as her cousins, nieces, and nephews were growing up. “Ever since I was a little girl my mom always told me I would become a nurse,” she says. “I was always the one who was trying to nurture everybody.”
Jones works as an assistant nurse manager in the emergency department at Adventist HealthCare Fort Washington Medical Center in Fort Washington, Maryland, United States. She has been with the hospital since 2001. Before that, she worked in a nursing home and as an emergency medical technician.
“Everything I’ve done since I was a teenager has been related to health care,” Jones said. But nothing has been quite as rewarding as her experience at Fort Washington.
“The people here have given me a sense of belonging and a sense of family,” she said. “I feel like I have a purpose because the people I work with and the people I meet in this community are outstanding.”
Each day, emergency nurses face difficult situations and emotional scenarios while caring for patients who walk in the front door or who are rushed to the hospital by ambulance. But, as Jones observes, the team at Fort Washington always emerges strong and united in their goal of delivering high-quality and compassionate patient care.
To further that goal, Fort Washington Medical Center leaders have outlined a plan that includes a larger, state-of-the-art hospital with a larger and updated emergency department, a robust provider network, and a long list of specialty services. This garrison of providers will be spread more evenly across a region where residents too often face a lack of options when it comes to their health.
“This community is getting bigger by the day,” Brittany Keys, the emergency department manager at Fort Washington Medical Center, says. “We need to make sure that we have the space and the resources to be able to care for the people here, so they aren’t forced to leave their own community to get service.”
Like Jones, Keys has been working to help people throughout her life, deciding in high school that she wanted to be a nurse. She’s been with Fort Washington Medical Center since 2012. She said it’s been exciting to see the hospital grow as it works to reduce local health-care disparities in southwestern Prince George’s County.
“We’re serving the members of this community where most of us live,” Keys said. “This team is like my family. I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.”