May 6 - 12 is Nursing Week and offers us the opportunity to recognize of the hardworking members who are part of the Family of Nursing.

We are highlighting Megan, a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) at an urban long-term care and rehabilitation facility. Megan has worked as a LPN for more than 10 years. In addition to her LPN diploma, Megan values ongoing education and has taken additional training about dementia care, spinal cord injuries, and is currently working towards her dialysis certification.

A typical day for Megan is busy and can get even busier when staffing levels are reduced. Her work involves tasks like medication counts and administration, monitoring blood sugars and vital signs, wound care, admissions, discharges, and charting. The team necessary to care for her clients is significant, and includes Environmental Service Workers, Dietary Services, Administrative Assistants, Continuing Care Assistants, Security Services, Information Technology, Pharmacy, and Laboratory Technicians. All of these amazing people work together to keep the systems running to facilitate patient care.

We asked Megan what inspired her to go into this career and she told us about her grandmother, who was diagnosed with dementia after Megan graduated high school. She didn't like not being able to do anything or understand what was happening as she watched her grandmother change and suffer. She wanted to help her grandmother and help others. She saw the entire system struggling and wanted to do what she could to help.

A memorable moment for Megan was when she was caring for a client and saw another client across the hall begin to topple over while strapped into their wheelchair. She wasn't able to stop it, but immediately called for assistance, kept the patient stabilized and monitored them. The client, as well as others who saw the incident, communicated to Megan how grateful they were that she was there and that she felt like a calming presence, and they felt safe under her care. Those words of appreciation and acknowledgement mean a lot and make the tough days a bit more bearable.

In recent years, Megan's workload has continued to increase. The level of patient acuity has increased, as have the additional policies, paperwork, and education needed to stay on top of things. Clients and families are struggling, but because they do not have any other support or people to talk to, frontline caregivers like Megan often receive the brunt of their frustrations.

To Megan, and to all members of the Family of Nursing, thank you for all that you do. Your work never seems to end, but you continue to show up and care for your clients day after day.

 

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