Nurses Week Spotlight: Nancy McLaughlin
We wrap up our National Nurses' Week interviews with Nancy McLaughlin. Nancy celebrates her 25th anniversary in the field of nursing this year. When you read Nancy's story you see that she is more than a health care provider - she is also a teacher. She says that knowledge is power in the bleeding disorder community, and we are proud that she shares not only her nursing experience, but her bleeding disorder knowledge with all of us at HoG and our clients. Here's her story.
Q: What territory do you serve?
A: I serve Bartow, Cobb, and Douglas counties.
Q: Why or how did you get into nursing?
A: I first wanted to become a nurse when a close friend of mine was in a life-threatening accident, which left him a paraplegic. The care that he was provided by the medical staff saved his life and inspired me to be a nurse. I had a setback in my senior year of high school when my brother was diagnosed with cancer, which actually scared me away from nursing for a few years. But thankfully, he recovered, and I came back around to nursing. I’m so thankful that I did because it’s been an amazing career, and I can’t imagine doing anything else!
Q: How long have you been a nurse? Did you work somewhere as a nurse before joining HoG?
A: 2020 will mark my 25th year as a nurse. I previously worked at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for over 20 years and Wellstar Cobb Hospital for 1 year.
Q: What do you enjoy most and/or what are you most proud of in your role at HoG?
A: My favorite thing about working as an Outreach Nurse with HoG is the relationships I’ve formed with the clients I serve! The families I serve are so kind and gracious and it has truly been a pleasure to work with them for years. I also love educating my clients and families and increasing their knowledge and comfort level with caring for their bleeding disorder.
Q: What do you think is the most important contribution of nurses to the inherited bleeding disorders community or as a whole beyond the inherited bleeding disorder community?
A: The expression that Knowledge is Power is so true with bleeding disorders. Most clients visit the Hemophilia Treatment Centers once or twice a year. It’s often a stressful time and understanding the complexity and obtaining the knowledge needed to care for your child, loved one, or yourself is a process. To that end, the nurses at HoG have a unique opportunity to educate clients and answer questions in their home and can visit as often as needed to reinforce education and answer questions as they arise. Our clients also know they can reach us by phone and often reach out for questions.
The role of nurses in healthcare is huge. Nurses provide hands on care, support, education, and advocacy to patients on a daily basis. As a hospital nurse for many years, I realize that contact with the physicians is limited. Nurses are often the eyes, ears, and hands involved in direct patient care. In addition to direct patient care, we are often working on our patients’ behalf by coordinating with other healthcare team members to ensure that our patients have the best care and best outcome. The World Healthcare Organization has declared 2020 The Year of the Nurse!