TERRE HAUTE —
Being a nurse …
Like most nurses, I chose this profession because I had a strong desire to help others and no other career would allow me the opportunity to touch lives the way I have been able to through nursing. I chose mental health as my nursing specialty but any nurse could tell you that no matter what specialty you choose, our holistic approach to our care requires us to “specialize” in every field of nursing in one way or another.
A nurse will care for the whole person not just the illness. We know there is more to a diabetic patient than just their blood sugar, more than a blood pressure reading for the heart patient. Each one of our patients has a story to share and sometimes we are the only ones they have who will listen to them. During nursing school, I quickly learned that listening to the patient’s concerns and helping them work through their fears was my favorite part of nursing. I knew I had found God’s purpose for me in mental health nursing.
I quickly learned the challenges in this field but had wonderful mentors and teachers to help me overcome those challenges. You want to do all you can for each patient, but you soon find there is only one of you and multiple patients with multiple problems and not enough hours in the day. You have to prioritize your work load but make sure that the patient that is at the end of your priority list knows they are just as important as the patient at the top of the list. Our patients always come first, which means there is often no time for lunch, no time for bathroom breaks. We come in contact with every body fluid imaginable and our only concern is to make sure we follow universal precautions so we don’t have to do more paperwork for our Infection Control Department.
Nursing is so much more than passing medication or changing a bandage. We have the amazing ability to decipher a physician’s handwriting that looks like hieroglyphics. We advocate for the patient when insurance tells you they have to go home but you know they need more time in the hospital or you provide 101 reasons why they need a certain medicine that the insurance doesn’t want to pay for. We are the teacher when they can’t understand what is wrong with them or the directions the doctor told them to follow. We are the pharmacist when they have a question about their new medicine. We are the counselor when they just need somebody to talk to. Our patient’s lives go way beyond our hospital or office doors and we are in this profession to help make sure they are able to live their lives to the fullest.
There may be a list of challenges with this profession but the rewards definitely outweigh those challenges. I have had the privilege of working at Hamilton Center for 15 years now. I am blessed to have worked with the greatest group of individuals that have dedicated their lives to care for our patients and increase awareness of the stigma associated with mental illness. I have had the opportunity to see lives changed because of what we do. I have seen the individual that tried to take her life a year ago, now graduate from college. I have worked with individuals who spent most of their adult life in an institution get their first apartment or get their first job. I have been there when my patient was diagnosed with cancer, sat with them through every chemotherapy treatment and held their hand when they took their last breath. I cry with our patients, I laugh with our patients, and yes I even pray with our patients. I couldn’t ask for a better career. I love what I do and live by our Hamilton Center motto to build hope and change lives and my patients have blessed mine.
— Brooke Kempf, RN PMHNP, Corporate Director of Nursing, Hamilton Center Inc.
TERRE HAUTE —
Being a nurse …
MIKE LUNSFORD: One man’s trash is, well, another man’s trash
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A casual glimpse of recent developments in Indiana politics might suggest Hoosiers are in the throes of an identity crisis.
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I don’t think it’s a secret that I value books as one of life’s great joys; “I am, therefore I read,” could be a T-shirt-worthy motto of mine.
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Smart and savvy newspaper readers (that’s all of you, of course) know full well that their daily consumption of news and information isn’t an exclusively high-brow pursuit.
MAX JONES: Dawn of new day in local elections
After a year off from the electoral process, counties across Indiana are gearing up for their next exercise in democratic politics, the 2014 primary election.
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I’ve been thankful this winter for a full propane tank and ample cold cranking amps and school snow-delay days that have kept me off the roads until the sun is up on the most frigid of these mornings.
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Terre Haute grew fond of Eugene Debs.
The process took time.
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It was just a few nights ago that I announced to my wife that I was headed outside to watch the International Space Station pass overhead.
MIKE LUNSFORD: Lying by the warm radioside
I am writing this piece well before Christmas Eve, although you wouldn’t think that it can be far away by the look of things out my windows tonight.
MAUREEN HAYDEN: Meth labs so prevalent, test kits on market for homebuyers
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Raising the bar
Around coffeeshops, kitchen tables and office watercoolers, Hoosiers have cussed and discussed the federal health care law.
This time don't use your head
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Should Bears start Cutler? Yes
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Oh, it’s on.
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MIKE LUNSFORD: ‘I’m going simply because I’ve got to … ’
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Use the classic Tommy Tutone song to memorize the following number …
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It didn’t get much better than that for a 10-year-old in summertime.
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