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Published on May 12, 2017

A Nurses Tale

A Profile of a Pardee Emergency Department Nurse

Mike has an infectious personality. He has a big beard and an even bigger smile. I walked in to visit Mike one afternoon, and upon asking the front desk “Is Mike here?” I was quickly and matter-of-factly told “why yes he is standing right there?” As if to say politely, who else could that be but the cheery Mike. He stood behind a computer screen, busily working. He was quick to let me distract him and he politely shook my hand, introduced himself, and allowed me succumb him to taking several photos. Mike was a busy man, and he did not have a whole lot of time to chit chat about his career as a nurse in between patients. So I opted instead to email with him. Mike began working in nursing because he had a long standing desire to help others. He is passionate about spending time volunteering and giving back to the community that he loves (although he notes that it is often hard finding the time). However he claims that for him nursing is really like paid community service, when he comes to work each day he has an opportunity to fulfill his love for helping others. Mike also comments when asked about his decision to become a nurse that the huge need for nurses creating a high degree of job security doesn’t hurt.

Mike describes how he loves working in a team while in the Emergency Department. Mike believes that work becomes special when the team begins to function in harmony and balance. Working in the Emergency Department can often times feel chaotic, when this chaotic feeling begins to feel more like controlled chaos is when work starts to feel particularly special for Mike.  More than anything, a few expressions of gratitude such as a simple “Thank you” from his patients can go a long way to brighten his day and make him feel like all the hard work is worthwhile. He notes that sometimes a career in healthcare can feel “thankless,” like being the unsung hero. Mike talks about how many of the patients and families who come through the Emergency Department are going through significant hardship and suffering and this hardship often gets shouldered by the nurses and other providers. Mike notes that a hug can make all the difference in preventing burnout. Have you hugged a nurse today?

I was curious about what caused such a passion for his trade, so I asked Mike what inspired him. Mike finds inspiration in his day to day from his parents. He details how he struggled through school early on, but his parents still believed in him and encouraged him until he was able to turn the ship around and get back to where he wanted to be. I like to think that Mike has this same attitude towards his patients. Even when things are bleak, he believes in them and cares for them until they are back to where they want to be.

Mike feels very hopeful about the future of nursing. He hopes that in the future we are able to tackle the shortage of nurses so that nurses can feel more comfortable with their patient loads. He is hopeful that nurses can continue to develop open communication between each other so that they can discuss the different hardships that they all experience when caring for the suffering. Mike adds slyly that he also hopes for a little more money one day (don’t we all Mike, don’t we all). Over all, Mike talks about how much he loves working at Pardee. He notes how he loves the small hospital feel. Mike also loves how nice and caring all of his coworkers are. He calls Pardee his home away from home and he is happy to have the opportunity to work with such a great team.

I had one more nagging question for Mike though. I proposed a hypothetical question to him, asking if he could have one other job what it would be. Mike said that without a doubt he would be a charter boat fishing captain. He grew up on the Gulf of Mexico in a small little fishing village. Because of this Mike has always loved saltwater fishing and he still plans on pursuing this dream whenever he retires, or wins the lottery. Like all of our nurses at Pardee, Mike is one of a kind.