by Vickie Jenkins – Writer/Photographer
Meet Callie Rinehart, RN, Nurse Educator at the Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital in Bethany, OK. Rinehart went to school at Redlands in El Reno, OK for her associate degree, Southwestern Oklahoma State for her bachelor’s and is currently studying at the University of Missouri for her master’s. “I love being a nurse and taking care of people,” Rinehart states. “I am so happy with my job.”
Rinehart tells a very touching story of how she came about wanting to work in the medical field, taking care of others. “It was all because of my dad and it is kind of a bitter/sweet story. When I was in the 5th grade, my dad was having some medical issues and ended up being hospitalized for a month. After he was in the hospital, he was released and able to come home, yet he would need some wound care done. My mom was real squeamish and couldn’t handle changing his dressings, etc. I was the one that took care of his wounds. So, here I was, in the 5th grade, taking care of my dad because my mom couldn’t do it. I actually loved it. It was at that time that I knew that I wanted to get into the medical field and become a nurse,” she says. “My first job was here at the Children’s Center as a nurse aide and it encouraged me to go on and become a nurse. Now, I have been here for 5 years and I love everything about it,” she states.
As a nurse educator, Rinehart oversees the training classes for the nurses and answers the abundance of emails. “There are so many emails to respond to,” Rinehart says. “There are certain programs that all of the nurses are required to take plus certifications are done. I also like the fact that I oversee the nurses and have a chance to watch the nurses advance in their careers.” she adds.
“What advice would you give to someone that was thinking of going into the medical field?” I ask Rinehart. “I would tell that person that they need to be patient, to listen and to learn. You would be surprised at how many people get anxious to do something, just to get it done and that just puts someone farther behind. I would tell them to take their time, do it the right way, be patient with it and that person will learn so much more. It is such a great help. I would also tell them that being a nurse is one of the most rewarding jobs ever.”
When asking Rinehart her opinion of what makes a good nurse, she replied, “I think a good nurse needs to be one who can be aware of time management, be empathetic and sympathize with patients. A nurse definitely needs to multi-task,” Rinehart says with a laugh. A nurse needs to be someone who really cares about their job and their occupation. Time management is a big one.”
“I see such a change in the children’s lives here. Everyone here at the Children’s Center has a genuine concern for the children. It is such a big blessing that I can help a child in the smallest way. It is amazing to work with a child and then, see that child smile; a challenge and a breakthrough. It makes my heart happy, there is no other feeling that can describe it. When I come to work, my inspiration is taking care of the children and doing what is best for them. I know that what I do on a daily basis has such an impact on the children every day and those children deserve the world. I love my babies and teenagers,” Rinehart comments.
Describing herself in 3 words, Rinehart says, “I think I am compassionate, caring and I do believe that I think too much. Yes, I know I think too much and that be good or bad,” she laughs.
Rinehart is also on the Capital Campaign committee to expand inpatient and outpatient facilities for Oklahoma children with complex medical traditions and traumatic injuries. The statewide campaign which officially launched during a groundbreaking ceremony on September 17th, featured outreach in the northeast, southeast, central, northwest and southwest regions of the state. “I am so excited about it,” Rinehart added.
One last question for Rinehart. “What words of wisdom would you give to others? “I would say, live life and be happy. I think it is so special working here and I love my job.”