Insight from a medical/surgical unit nurse
In honor of National Nurses Week, we’re following up with some South College graduates to learn about their nursing specialties.
Jade McClure is an RN-BSN at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.
She graduated from South College in September 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).
“I work in a medical/surgical unit with a unique focus,” Jade shares. “My floor serves the ‘familiar faces’ patients. These patients frequent the hospital often and face stressors of homelessness, addiction, lack of resources or chronic issues that require many admissions. We work to identify barriers to their healthcare and act to make changes for them. I do many things as a nurse on this unit and see a variety of patients experiencing issues ranging from renal to heart and from osteomyelitis to COVID-19 long haulers.”
Jade’s day starts with an assignment of four to five patients. She performs head-to-toe exams in order to track any patient changes or to make initial notes for new patients. She makes assessments for next steps and treatment. “I administer tube feeds and total parenteral nutrition (TPN), do extensive wound care, educate and assist with daily living tasks.”
Among the many benefits of working with the familiar faces is that she gets to develop relationships with the patients, noting: “The most important part of my job is supporting my patients through anything they go through. I meet them in the middle, try to understand their needs and advocate for each and every one of them.”
National Nurses Week
Jade is an avid runner and is looking forward to helping her floor “rack up some miles” in the walk/run challenge that pits floors in the hospital against each other to accumulate the most miles as a celebration of National Nurses Week.
“I’m sure there will be other activities, but I’m most excited about this one.”
Advice for prospective nurses
“If you think you have a passion for healthcare, please consider pursuing a career. We need smart, compassionate nurses,” Jade implores. “There are so many opportunities besides bedside care in nursing – there’s something for almost everyone.”
A patient at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital when she was young, Jade developed a deep appreciation for the people at Vanderbilt and knew that she would work there someday. “I pursued psychology first, which is useful in my job, but I came back to nursing and now get to work with such great patients at Vanderbilt.”
She notes that South College prepared her for a career in nursing and that – even during a pandemic – they found creative ways for her class to get clinical experience. They also supported her during a hard time, adding: “My grandmother passed away in the middle of nursing school and the instructors and my classmates were amazing – they really care.”
When she’s not at work, Jade can be found running, enjoying the Nashville greenways and local coffee shops. She likes to spend time with her boyfriend and come home to her cat, Mac.