On National Nurses Day, nurses around the country, including at Baystate Health, are being honored as leaders who improve the quality of health care. Nurses practice in diverse roles, such as clinicians, administrators, researchers, educators and policymakers.
Caring for others
For Laura Charron, a Registered Nurse on the Medical-Surgical Floor at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital, it was a desire to care for people that let her to a career in nursing.
"Although there are no nurses in my family, my father, Paul Lupacchino, has devoted his life and career to helping others in the emergency setting and that is what has inspired me to do the same," said Charron, who is also an Emergency Medical Technician and a member of the West Brookfield Rescue Squad.
"I always found the healthcare field fascinating and rewarding," Charron said. "Prior to becoming a nurse, I worked in Patient Registration and as Patient Care Technician, before enrolling in a Nursing Program at Becker College in Worcester."
Charron also reflects on her earlier experiences as a waitress. "I’ve been told by some that waitressing is a good profession to have before becoming a nurse, in that you become very good at multitasking and keeping your 'customers' happy," she said.
Now, Charron is known for caring for her patients as if they were a good friend or a family member.
Finding her specialty
Medical surgical nursing is the foundation of all nursing practice and is one of the most diverse nursing specialties. Medical Surgical nurses care for patients in a broad range of setting working directly with physicians, patients, and their family. These specialized nurses are involved looking beyond the patient’s medical needs while in the hospital, they also help plan for each patients recovery at home too.
"Knowing that I've done the best I can to help my patients recuperate and become a healthier person means a lot to me," said Charron, who works the night shift. "Some nights are more hectic than others. I look forward to coming to work because of the great connection I have with the team I work. My co-workers are like my second family."
A respected field
Sponsored by the American Nurses Association, National Nurses Week has as its 2014 theme, "Nurses: Leading the Way," recognizing nurses as leaders at the bedside, in the boardroom, throughout communities and in the halls of government. The public holds nurses in high regard and trusts them to advocate for patients. For the past 12 years, the public has ranked nursing as the top profession for honesty and ethics in an annual Gallup survey.
"The psychological rewards of being a nurse and the knowledge I've gained have been the greatest," said Charron. "Being a member of such a well-respected and highly sought out profession is quite gratifying."
Ask the Ware nurse if she’d recommend nursing to anyone questioning her about the profession – and the answer is a definite "yes."
"I would recommend it to the right person," Charron said. "Nursing takes a lot of patience, knowledge, dedication, and perseverance, but more importantly it takes a lot of heart. A lot of people can be a nurse if they want to, but to be a good nurse, you really have to give attentive, empathetic care to your patients."
National Nurses Week begins on May 6 and ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, founder of nursing as a modern profession. During the week, registered nurses throughout the country and at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital will be honored.