CAREERS IN NURSING
VALUING LIFE – INTEGRIS HEALTH EDMOND IS A PLACE TO TRUST
by James Coburn – Writer/Photographer
Lacy Norton works in the ER of INTEGRIS Health Edmond while carrying new life inside her. As an expectant mother, she understand the circle of life. And for many patients, Norton makes life better during some of their most vulnerable moments.
Norton has been a registered nurse since earning her Bachelor of Science Degree at Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond. Her mother was a school nurse at Edmond Memorial where Norton attended high school. So Norton opted to follow her mother’s footsteps by choosing a nursing career.
“I’m very much a people person and I think Oklahoma Christian really prepared me. It focuses on healing the whole person, body and spirit. I just really enjoyed that about the program.”
She began her nursing career as a new graduate working in the ER at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center. She was a nurse tech there during her senior year of nursing school.
“I spent two and a half years there, and then my husband and I moved to Washington, D.C. for his grad school”
Her husband went to Georgetown University while Norton worked in northern Virginia for two years. While in Virginia Norton became a nationally certified emergency room nurse through the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing. And she wants to share her experience with Oklahoma.
“I think it is a major accomplishment for emergency room nurses,” she said. “Especially for those that are finally getting into it, they’re not scared anymore. They feel confident and can justify that confidence.”
She and her husband returned to Edmond where Norton resumed her nursing career with INTEGRIS Edmond. Norton was impressed with the facility that opened in 2011.
She found a lot of opportunity at INTEGRIS Health Edmond. There are great best practices set in the ER, she said.
“Obviously the facilities are beautiful,” she said. “But as far as the ER goes, I have been so impressed with the team. With our team of nurses you really won’t have a bad day here because we are nurses that are go-getters.”
She started in the cath lab and floated sometimes to the ER at least a couple of times a month. She always admired the team approach in the ER. Many of the nurses she already knew.
“They are definitely cream of the crop,” she said.
Norton also likes the camaraderie of the physicians. They hold the nurses opinions with high esteem, she said. There is a mutual respect for the talents each profession provides for the best care available.
The volume of patients coming into the ER ebbs and flows, she said. A well seasoned ER nurse is always alert for any situation.
“For me it does enrich my life. Like I said, I like being with people and meeting people where they are,” Norton said. “I feel like the ER is the first line and the last line with everything in between. I love it because every new patient is completely new and different.”
She helps patients navigate the system if they go home or stay in the hospital. Nursing is more than passing medicine, she said. Norton takes the time to render kindness to each patient even when they are with her for only four hours. Norton is trained to help ease the mindset of new patients in the ER.
“If there was ever a place you needed to be, right now it’s here,” she consoles ER patients. She lets them know that she is glad they are in the ER no matter what is going on with their health.
ER nurses sometimes run on adrenaline, but Norton also has a life away from work. She does not have time for any hobbies because she and her husband are renovating their new house, she said.
Her husband began law school. For Norton, her hobby currently is painting the house and improving it. Both of their families are in Oklahoma, which is a reason they returned to Oklahoma to start a family.
“We have dear friends that we love hanging out with,” she continued. “My husband plays guitar and I sing, so sometimes we try to get a show together for holidays.”
She and her husband are also expecting their first child. And she plans to have it at INTEGRIS Health Edmond at the Women’s Center. She already knows many of the labor and delivery nurses which makes her feel good, she said.
“The facilities are awesome. I told them that my husband will probably pass out,” she said. She sometimes greets the lactation nurse in the hall.
No one is a stranger at INTEGRIS Health Edmond.