Savanna Ray, RN, says the thought of leaving ER work makes her depressed.


by Mike Lee – Writer

It was somewhere in high school when Savanna Ray, RN, was introduced to the medical field.
There was no calling then when she shadowed McBride Clinic’s Dr. Robert German as an athletic trainer.
But everything about it was just so darn cool that Ray couldn’t imagine doing anything else with her life.
“I really liked it when he got the bone saw out,” Ray admitted with a smile.
After joining the St. Anthony Healthplex in Mustang on the ground floor of its December 2014 opening, Ray is enjoying advancing her career in the ER.
“I like that it’s not monotonous. Something different is always walking through the door,” Ray said. “You never know who you’re going to meet and the people you’re going to touch. With ER I get cardiac patients, abdominal pains, emergent surgery – I get to deal with everything and I get to know a little bit about everything.”
“I feel sometimes when you’re too specialized you get so focused on that and there’s a lot more out there.”
She cut her nursing teeth at Integris Baptist, beginning there as a clerk then going up the ladder as a nursing assistant and eventually nurse.
“I was there as a baby so to speak,” said Ray, who spent nine years with Integris.
Nursing wasn’t even on her radar when she was hired as a clerk as a sophomore at the University of Central Oklahoma.
The pre-med major thought she had everything already figured out.
“I was wanting to go to medical school,” she said. “I got my nursing assistant license and starting working with patients so much I thought I’d rather be a nurse and get to do all the cool stuff.”
Doing the cool stuff is what brought her to St. Anthony.
Ray was born and raised in North Oklahoma City and went to Putnam City West High School. Her husband is from South OKC. The two just bought a house on Council and Memorial.
Her new role is a unique one serving the emergent needs of an entire population.
“The response that we’ve gotten since we opened has just been pure excitement and anticipation,” Ray said. “When people come in whether they’re a patient or family member or friend their immediate response is ‘Wow, this place is gorgeous.’ That gives me a sense of pride working here and really makes my job enjoyable, too.”
Avoiding the burnout is something Ray has considered. A love of all things new keeps her fresh.
“There are a lot of things that can turn monotonous in the ER but at the same time it’s those critical situations we have everyday that really keep you on your toes.”
“I have looked into other things but just the thought of leaving the ER makes me depressed.”
Ray has a pair of bachelor’s degrees with her first biology degree from UCO. From there she moved over to Oklahoma City University to get her BSN.
Kramer School of Nursing challenged her like no other.
“I got a phenomenal education there. They are really hands-on,” Ray said. “The book work is really good. I think it helped I was already in the medical field going in so I was really comfortable with a lot of things and it wasn’t really hard for me to grasp certain theories in nursing but overall I think if I hadn’t been medical going in they made everything so seamless and easy.”
“It’s a great program. I tell everybody I went there.” And she tells everyone that she’s a nurse for St. Anthony. To her, it’s about the coolest job out there. “I really liked interacting with the patients. I love being able to educate,” she said. “For the common, lay person medicine is really scary and for me it’s really not. It’s just our bodies and it’s really cool. I like to educate patients and make them comfortable with their care.” Even 10 years into the field, Ray finds her career wide open. Another degree could be up next. Or maybe something else entirely. “It’s possible. I don’t have any kids right now and my husband and I talking about starting a family so I think I’m going to focus on that right now,” Ray said. “I’m a charge nurse here at Saints which is a really great opportunity for me. I’m really enjoying that role and enjoying getting some management experience and figuring out what I want to do.
“Nurse practitioner is definitely a possibility for me but I may go back and get my master’s in business and do clinical manager and director. My five-year plan kind of has a question mark at the end right now. There’s so many possibilities in nursing I want to do everything but I can’t.”
But whatever she does, you can bet it’s going to be cool.