by Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer
This is Andrea Jones, RN and charge nurse in ICU at SSM Health, St. Anthony’s Hospital in Shawnee, OK. If you recognize this outstanding woman, you might have seen her on KFOR’s news station segment, Pay it 4Ward. Andrea was surprised when she was nominated by Debbie Manuel and honored by First Fidelity Bank’s Pay it 4Ward. “A patient (Debbie Manuel) was in the hospital for attempted suicide. When Debbie woke up, she heard Andrea’s voice and knew her life had been saved. “God gave me the words to say to her,” Andrea commented. “She grabbed ahold of God and now, her life has been forever changed. She will tell you the worst day of her life became the best day of her life. We baptized Debbie in our pond in front of thirty-one friends and family. Five of which were employees that were touched by words spoken in that room. Two more people have been baptized since then. This incredible lady has a whole new outlook on life and is determined to help others,” Andrea added.
Growing up, Andrea was an oil field kid, so she spent a lot of time moving back and forth between Texas and Oklahoma. “If you ever heard my accent, you would undeniably know that I’m from the south,” she said with a laugh.
Andrea attended OSU/OKC, has an associate degree, is PICC line certified and through ICU masters credentialing. She has been a nurse for twelve years. She started in the medical field two weeks after graduation as a CNA, which led to SSM Health, St. Anthony’s Hospital in Shawnee, OK. “I enjoy working in the small town atmosphere. Everyone knows everyone, and it feels like one big family,” she said.
Asking Andrea how she encourages her patients, she replied, “It really depends on the situation and the patient’s needs. I am their advocate, helping with whatever needs they have physically, mentally or spiritually. I am their cheerleader, their shoulder to lean on, and sometimes, something as simple as just listening.”
What is the best part of your job? “I have always wanted to take care of people. I feel like I have a real connection with, being present with people. Impacting and making a difference in people’s lives. If I were to give advice to someone going into the medical field, I would tell them to become a nurse if they truly love people. You can always be taught the fundamentals of learning but you have to genuinely possess compassion and caring. Personally, I feel all nurses should start as a CNA. I believe this helps teach humility and respect for others,” Andrea said.
Although Andrea has been honored with several awards and recognitions through the years, she made it known that there were many of her co-workers that deserved the awards too. It was in 2017; she was awarded Exceptional Mission Excellence Award and sent to St. Louis to a leadership conference. In 2018, she was given a huge honor in being selected for the Franciscan Pilgrimage trip to Rome, Italy, plus the recent recognition on KFOR’s Pay it 4ward. Andrea seems to be known for her passion about God, people and animals. She is happy, gentle and kind. Andrea has a positive attitude and lives by the words, Matthew 7:12 Therefore, everything that you would like men to do to you, do also to them for this is the law and prophets. Also, known as the golden rule.
On a personal note, Andrea is married to her best friend and soul mate, Jerry Jones. “We have six kids and three grandsons, Noah, seven-years old, Easton, six-years and Gus, two months old,” she said. “Those grandkids are my pride and joy,” she added.
Andrea’s spare time is spent taking care of animals. “I rescue, mend abandoned and/or hurt wildlife or domesticated. I’ve raised many different farm animals such as pigs, goats, cows, horses and dogs. I love all animals,” she said.
“Last but not least, I would like to give a big thank you to a positive mentor; Linda Meckleburg. This nurse breathed authority and knowledge. If you could image an old school, military nurse, this was Meck. She was the scariest, yet most awe-inspiring nurse that I have ever met. She loved her patients, the best patient advocate ever. She took me under her wing and I will forever be grateful,” she said with a smile.
Andrea continues to work as a nurse at SSM Health, St. Anthony’s Hospital, in Shawnee, OK, caring for others, enjoying life and living by the golden rule.