Riley Robinson, RN, ICU day-shift supervisor at OU Medical Center Edmond, says she appreciates the safety and security provided to patients and the nursing staff.

by James Coburn – staff writer

Riley Robinson doesn’t believe she would like any other career as much as nursing.
“There are special aspects of nursing that were just make for me,” said Robinson, RN, ICU day-shift supervisor at OU Medical Center Edmond. “It’s the one-on-one with your patients, the communication between the different disciplines. I see what all the disciplines do and feel that is very admirable. I love being the one in the room with the patient, the one closest to the patient. That’s what’s special about nursing to me and that’s why I love it and continue to do it.” (story continues below)

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A nurse for five years, she recently earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Capella University after receiving an Associate Degree in Nursing at Northern Oklahoma College, located in Enid. Her motivation to earn a Bachelor of Science degree was to become a supervisor.
Robinson balances the nursing shift schedules and creates the agenda for staff meetings. Daily shift huddles are led by her at the beginning of the day shift.
“One of the really big things I admire about our staff here is the feeling of teamwork and support,” she said.
Robinson has worked in travel nursing and other intensive care units prior to joining the team at OU Medical Center Edmond in 2019. She found the degree of teamwork and support to not be as commendable as it is at the Edmond hospital.
“I mean you have back-up all the time, not only our nurses but our security. We recently had a situation with a very aggressive patient, so we called a code purple,” she said.
There was also a code blue alert in the hospital that prompted security, physicians, and a chaplain came to back-up Robinson and one other nurse in the room.
“That was such a good feeling, and it was so nice to know we had back-up. People cared about us and were going to make sure we were not hurt. That was really nice,” Robinson said.
She is grateful to work in an environment that will not leave her in a dangerous and unsafe situation. Robinson said that sense of security and the following of protocols has also been helpful during the COVID pandemic.
“You know you can be safe here and that’s a big reason to stay,” she said.
The bottom line is that when the nursing staff feels safe and supported, they are empowered to take the best care of their patients and make them feel safe, too, she said. And hearing from patients and family members of the direct impact nurses have on their quality of life has a major impact on Robinson in her choice of careers.
“It’s just hearing that I helped them in a really vulnerable situation and that I was the person that was there for them,” she continued. “That’s another thing that keeps me going when it gets hard, but that’s probably the nicest thing to hear and know.”
Problems do not dissuade her in finding solutions. Robinson said she likes challenges and readily accepts opportunities benefitting patient care.
“I’ve always looked to be challenged. I don’t stay stagnate and just do kind of the same mundane thing,” Robinson said. “That’s a real big part of nursing. It’s something different every day, and the variety of patients you get is really neat because it is something different every day. The variety keeps me guessing, challenges me. I’m always learning something new. So that’s a big reason that I don’t feel the need to do something else, because I’m constantly learning and growing. And nursing provides that.”
She recalled the mother of one of her friends being her mentor during her teenage years. Her mentor was “cool and very smart,” Robinson continued. She did not know what the woman’s job was. But the level-headed impression made on her by her friend’s mother made Robinson think, “I want to be like her.”
“And then later I found out she was a nurse and going to nurse practitioner school. And that is originally what made me look into nursing. Once I dug into it a little bit more, I realized that it actually is for me. I’m grateful that I had that kind of mentor,” she said.
Robinson doesn’t discount a moment when not at work. She keeps her mind fine-tuned by reading and enjoys spending time with her husband. The couple like to travel a lot. They don’t have to leave Oklahoma to have fun. A road trip is always welcome.
“To just get away from the area and see something new is my favorite thing to do,” she said.