by Vickie Jenkins – Writer/Photographer
Meet Bonnie Rainbow, RN and Jana Jennings, RN, both charge nurses in PPCU at Norman Regional HealthPlex, in Norman, OK. Rainbow has been a nurse since 1976 and has worked at Norman Regional since 2008. “After graduation, I just happen to see some programs about the medical field and nursing school and decided to check it out. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with the idea. The next thing I knew, I was making it happen and I became a nurse,” she says. “I love my profession and love helping patients and their families. I strongly believe that being a nurse was a God given direction that I took,” she adds.
Working with Rainbow, is Jana Jennings, RN. Unlike Rainbow, Jennings grew up surrounded by people in the medical field. When she was a little girl, her family purchased a nursing home. From Administrator, Social Worker and Secretary, her family seemed to do it all. “I always thought I would be a nurse or a teacher when I grew up. I worked at a hospital part-time and a daycare part-time. After working at the daycare for a while, I realized those kids, ‘kicked my rear’ so I went into nursing,” she says with a laugh. “I have worked here since 2003 and I simply love my job. It is so rewarding! I know that I am helping others and I love it when patients come back to the hospital to tell me how much they appreciated their care from our staff.”
Both Rainbow and Jennings agree that their typical day is busy. “We are so fast-paced around here,” Rainbow says. “We are in charge of the placement of the patients and we oversee the care of the patients. We take care of folks in the waiting room, getting them taken care of as quickly as possible. I know that we have many patients in a crisis and when those people come in, we are that comforting shoulder for the patients and their families and suddenly their fears go away when they realize they are in good hands.”
“What qualities do you think make a good nurse?” I ask Rainbow. “I think a nurse should possess patience with her patients,” she says with a laugh. “It’s almost like we need to see the big picture and connect to every component of the family, whether it be emotional, financial or physiological, helping the patients, in every way that we can.”
“The turnover for patients is a lot,” says Jennings. “We just have to be ready and work together and that is why I am so proud of our teamwork,” she replies. “Also, Bonnie and I help out anywhere and anyway that we can, whether it be helping with the aides or helping the nurses if they need help. It makes it nice to work together.”
Jennings enjoys her job as a nurse. “I have a real passion to help others. When I was little, my older sister was hit by a drunk driver. She was in the hospital for several months and we weren’t sure if she was going to make it. She is fine now but through that experience, it helped me understand how the families of the patient feels. I have a strong desire to comfort the patients and their families.”
Asking Rainbow if she has any hobbies, she replies. “ I like to read, and I like swimming and walking but most of all, I like to spend time with my family and my church family.”
Jennings hobbies include spending time with her husband (who is also a nurse) and their 2 daughters, ages 4 and 8. “I like to go swimming and we like to go on vacation whenever we get the chance,” Jennings states.
“What are your words to live by?” I ask Rainbow. “Oh, that would be my favorite passage from the Bible,” she says. “It has a lot of truth and honesty to it and it has gotten me through a lot of hard times. It is Philippians 4:8 Finally Brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.”
Between the two nurses, they describe themselves as compassionate, friendly and trustworthy and they both love being a nurse. Kudos to Norman Regional HealthPlex.
by Vickie Jenkins – Writer/Photographer