National Nurses Week was a joy at Covington Ridge. Throughout the week, Activities Director Crystal Neal had a chance to interview former career nurses who currently live here. Today, you have the privilege of hearing the interview from Ms. Patrice Mitchell. Listen as she recalls her days of nursing in her own words.
Q: Where did you go to nursing school?
A: “Jones County Junior College”
Q: Were you ever given any special awards for your studies?
A: “I made the highest scores in my nursing class.”
Q: How did you decide on your career as a nurse?
A: “When my husband retired from the military, he had back problems and couldn’t work. I knew I needed to go to work. The only thing I could think of that I’d like to be was a nurse. I was 42 years old at the time.”
Q: What jobs did you have?
A: “All over. Until I got my license, I worked at South Central Hospital in Laurel. It’s now Regional. After that, I came to Collins and worked a couple of years.”
Q: What areas/fields did you work in?
A: “I was in medical/surgical – lifting…everyday lifting. Everyone would stop what they were doing to lift a patient. We couldn’t lift until we had six people. We often had to lift very heavy people – like tall men. If you lifted right, you wouldn’t hurt yourself.”
Q: What is a favorite memory of your time as a nurse?
A: “I was working in California and had a little elderly lady as a patient. I asked her if she would like a back rub. ‘Oh, that would be wonderful!’ she said. I gave her a good back rub, and she said, ‘You are an angel.’ Moments like that made it worth it.”
Q: How has nursing changed from then to today?
A: “Oh, everything is computerized now. They take their computer from patient to patient. We had to chart everything.”
Q: What did you find most rewarding about being a nurse?
A: When someone was in really severe pain and I could relieve their pain, it made me feel good.”
Q: What advice do you have for future nurses?
A: “It’s hard work. It’s not easy. There are some days it is slack, but most days are hard. You do a lot of heavy lifting, but the work is so rewarding.”