Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer
Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital is an Acute Inpatient Rehab Hospital that admits patients with traumatic injuries, debilitating diseases or have certain injuries that require intensive multidisciplinary rehabilitation programs. Mercy provides its patients a variety of rehabilitation options for them to get back to their lives.
Crystal Godfrey, RN carries several titles as she spends her time at Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital. Not only is Crystal an RN, but is also in charge of Clinical Educator and Infection Control Nurse. Crystal has been a nurse for over twenty years. “Over those years, I have worked in acute care, home health, hospice, skilled nursing, long term care and assisted living. I actually just joined the team here at Mercy Rehab last month. Prior to that, I worked at Mercy Hospital as Spine/Surgery Program Coordinator for two and half years and Inpatient Care Manager for three years,” Crystal commented. “I just can’t imagine doing anything else besides nursing,” she added.
“I guess you could say that I have dual roles here. My typical day varies, based on needs, but for the most part, as Clinical Educator, much of that work is focusing on ensuring the nurses have the skills and training to succeed in their role as a rehabilitation nurse, as well as coordinating the onboarding process for new hires. As an Infection Prevention nurse, I monitor, collect and analyze infection data and trends and report those findings to our interdisciplinary team which consists of Nursing, Quality, Pharmacy, Physician, Chief Clinical Officer and Chief Executive Officer. Much of it is collaborating with staff and physicians, providing education and training, implementing evidence based infection control.”
“Growing up in a small rural community in northwestern Oklahoma, I graduated from Gage Public Schools with a class of twelve, yes, that’s right, only twelve graduates,” she said with a laugh. “Can you imagine? To tell you the truth, when I was little, I never even thought about being a nurse. Even though I loved playing with the first aid kit and patching up animals. I had a dream of becoming a fashion designer and living the city life, but God had other plans for me.“
“As time went on, I had a friend who was going through LPN school and I would hear her talk about her clinical experiences which sounded fun and interesting! Plus, I was a single mom. I finally realized that LPN school was the better option as it was cheaper, shorter and had much more serious job potential and room for growth,” Crystal commented. “Attending Western Technology Center in Burns Flat, OK, I became a licensed practical nurse. Later, I went on to get my RN at Rose State College in Midwest City, OK. I don’t regret any of it.”
“Being a nurse has shown me that skills CAN be taught. In my opinion, a good nurse needs to have a positive attitude, compassion and flexibility. The ability to adapt to the ever changing environment and demands of healthcare, plus maintaining a positive outlook is crucial to the success of a nurse,” Crystal said.
Asking Crystal what her biggest reward was as a nurse, she replied, “Honestly, I can mention several,” she said. “One is hearing the patients’ stories and seeing their successes. Working as part of a team and seeing a project come to fruition and succeeding in making positive changes. Another one is teaching others and being taught as well, it is so rewarding to have opportunities for growth on both a personal and professional level. Last but not least, making a difference, whether it be a co-worker or patient or family, member,” Crystal explained,
What advice would you give to someone going into the medical field? “I would tell them that being a nurse is very rewarding! I would tell them the importance of learning organizational skills and time management skills. It is all important to celebrate your successes no matter how big or small. Enjoy every moment!”
On a personal note, Crystal has a wonderful, supporting boyfriend and two grown sons. She loves antiques, flea markets and vintage textiles. “I enjoy spending time on the patio around the fire pit with my loved ones. I like road trips and sightseeing and music. I like playing board or card games but most of all, making the best of times with my family and friends.”
If you could sum up your life in three words, what would those words be? “Adventure, learning and compassion,” Crystal said.