Growing up, Lynn remembers listening to her mom’s stories about the birthing unit at South Shore Hospital, where she worked for more than 42 years. As an adult, Lynn has spent all 30 years of her nursing career – save for a few years off while starting a family – at South Shore Hospital. But the birthing unit was not in the cards for her. “I cried my eyes out every time I saw a new baby born,” laughs Lynn, when she recalls her student rotations.
Lynn chose to base her career in the medical-surgical units, and then specialized in the ICU and ED areas over several years. She worked the night shift for many years because she had young children. Lynn says that is one of the best aspects of nursing – having great choices and flexibility to work in a range of specialties on various shifts.
Eight years ago, Lynn became the nursing coordinator in the Ambulatory Care Department when she sought a new opportunity with leadership potential. She had shied away from nurse manager positions because she still wanted to do patient care. Yet she wanted the chance to have a leadership role in a department. “This particular job gives me the opportunity to do both,” she says.
The nature of the department means that Lynn and her staff of eight RNs and three unit coordinators see many of the same patients coming in periodically for blood transfusions, IV infusions, and chemotherapy and outpatient procedures. One thing that’s kept Lynn at South Shore Hospital is the “community hospital” aspect of South Shore Hospital. “You’re working with your friends and neighbors and taking care of them as patients,” says Lynn.
“I feel like I can make a difference in my own community,” she added.
Because their patients often become "regulars," the staff goes above and beyond in providing care. Patients view these nurses as a key part of their health care team, and Lynn says she likes the trust that often develops. If anything, nursing has given her a better perspective on how to handle others. “I think that I try to be a little more patient with my family and friends.”
Although she has avoided the birthing unit during her career, Lynn found herself there when her own daughter gave birth at South Shore Hospital earlier this year. Not surprisingly, she cried her eyes out again.
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