CAREERS IN NURSING
IN GOOD HANDS: SAFETY AND EDUCATION HALLMARK COMPASSION
by James Coburn – Writer/Photographer
The staff at Nurses to Go Home Health bring a lot of longevity to the company. Priscilla Turner, RN, is one of the points of light at the Oklahoma City company where she serves as director of Quality and Assurance.
Many of the nurses have been working together for more than 20 years and consider themselves brothers and sisters.
Turner has a knack for helping senior adults. Turner is the type of nurse that Nurses to Go Home Health wants. And so do the patients.
“I just like the way the patient gets to stay in their home,” Turner said. “They don’t even have to go in to the doctor. We even have now doctors that will go to the home. The best way I can help them is to make sure our nurses provide quality care.”
Nurses remember they are working at the patients’ homes. So they are nonjudgmental in realizing each home is a different environment.
“As long as they are safe we have to provide the best care that they will let us,” Turner said. “Sometimes that’s difficult when a patient gets kind of stubborn, but we have nurses that can work around that.”
The nurses help to educate each patient about their respective disease process, medicines and safety at home. Planning on how to escape a fire or tornado is part of patient care.
“The nurses will look at each patient and determine if they can get out of their home safely,” Turner said. “If they are a chair-bound person or a bed-bound person, then the closest fire department to that patient’s house will be contacted and given that patient’s address so the fire department will know there is a person in there that can’t get out.”
She enjoys the interaction nurses have with their patients.
“They are so appreciative when we come to visit them. They just want to talk, talk, talk,” Turner said. “I know that they have family come in and stuff like that, but to have someone outside of their family come in, it’s like we get to learn about their children and what they’ve done in their life. They want to share that with other people.”
Nurses have the willingness to go the extra mile for each patient, she said. They do not accept any type of gift or gratuity over a dollar from the patients, Turner said. Sometimes nurses will discover a patient will be lacking something, perhaps a loaf of bread.
“I personally on Thanksgiving called my patient to say I was coming to see her. She said, ‘Honey would you mind stopping at the store and getting me a loaf of bread. She said, ‘I’ll pay you when you get here.’”
When Turner arrived, the woman had $2 out on the table. Turner turned to her and said, “This is happy Thanksgiving.”
“And that stuff touches my heart – those kind of things,” Turner said. “It’s the little things like that.”
She had another patient who knitted her some house shoes that she still has at home for a keepsake.
Such moments bring joy to her life and get her through a challenging week.
“We look for those nurses,” said Chief Operations Officer Felicia Brooks. “I look for the old school nurses that have a heart. That’s the kind of care I want. I want someone that’s going to go above and beyond and for our nurses to open up that refrigerator and make sure they do have food in there.”
Turner has instilled this value since she began her career in 1994. She began her career as a licensed practical nurse after graduating from Moore/Norman Technology Center before earning her associate degree in nursing at then-South Oklahoma City Junior College (Oklahoma City Community College). In 2004 Turner earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at Kramer School of Nursing at Oklahoma City University.
It does her heart good to work with a company on the right path. And during her days off, Turner does a lot of bird watching.
“We’ve got mocking birds right out here in the nest at the corner and I watched these two little babies,” she said.
One day she feared the neighborhood cats got them. But sure enough, the momma and daddy birds had moved them to a tree right outside her window.
“They are just as cute as they can be,” she said.