by Vickie Jenkins – Writer/Photographer
It takes a special person to be a nurse, especially now as the COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the world. We are all thankful for all of the nurses and doctors who put themselves on the front-line for us.
Carrie Turner, LPN is one of those special nurses who continue to do her job, taking care of patients at the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic. “It’s not an easy job for anyone right now, but I am dedicated to helping others,” Carrie said.
Carrie grew up in Hinton, OK, attending Oklahoma Caddo Kiowa Tech, located in Fort Cobb, OK. “At first, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life but I knew that I wanted to do something that was interesting and would make a difference in a person’s daily life, “Carrie commented. “I wanted to make my daughter proud of me, no matter what career I chose,” she added.
“After giving it much thought, I chose nursing for several reasons; there is always job security. There are always jobs for nurses wherever you travel to. The advancement for a nurse can come pretty fast if you do your job the right way. The flexibility is great and a nurse can choose from variety of many different fields to go into. It is an endless job search and a nurse never stops learning. I like to settle into a routine, and even though the daily situations are different, I’m still on that same time schedule. I have formed some long-time relationships with my co-workers and providers. I also enjoy the gym availability with work-out classes for employees. Last but definitely not least, I continue to do the job that I wanted to do, care for others with the utmost respect,” Carrie explained.
“I like working here at the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic because I meet different patients with various health concerns and I continue to learn,” Carrie said. “I’ve been a nurse for fourteen years all together. I spent the first four years at the Veteran’s Center in Clinton, OK and have been here ever since,” she added. Carrie was also recognized as receiving the Indian Services Area Merit Award.
Asking Carrie what qualities a nurse should have, she replied, “I think a nurse should have, empathy, open-mindedness, be respectable, be flexible, discretion, compassion, reliability, honesty and professionalism. I know that is a lot for a nurse to handle but all of these qualities make up a nurse,” she said with a smile.
What is your biggest reward as a nurse? “To me, I find being a nurse very rewarding. Gratitude from patients is the best thing ever,” Carrie replied. What is your biggest challenge? “Nursing can be very stressful and very demanding at times, especially with the loss of a patient. Of course, right now, with the COVID-19 virus going around, it makes for extra care for each individual.”
When asking Carrie what advice she would give to someone if they wanted to go into the medical field, she replied with these suggestions. “Study hard, stay open-minded, don’t judge others, be respectable and caring. Every person in the medical field plays a vital role in patient care, treatment and recovery. Be proud of your accomplishments regardless of the area/degree you choose. A higher degree does not automatically make you a better nurse,” she explained.
On a personal level, Carrie is married to her wonderful husband and they have been together ten years. Describing herself, Carrie said, “I am a little on the quiet side, responsible, reliable, honest, kind, and caring. Between a leader and a follower, I am a follower, just going with the flow. My hobbies are jogging and circuit-training workouts. I absolutely love spending time in Pensacola, Florida and it is actually my home away from home.”
Asking Carrie how the Coronavirus has affected her, she said, “I do less shopping, and I miss going to restaurants, hanging out with my husband and friends, along with just eating food outside the home. The gyms are closed and I miss the group work out classes. I miss my normal routine schedule; as a nurse, I now wear gloves, have increased the use of hand sanitizer and I remove my clothes and shoes in the garage after work before I enter the house. There are so many precautions that everyone needs to pay attention to, not just nurses.”
Summing up your life in one word, what would it be? “It would be happiness,” Carrie replied.