paulPaul Tankersley, MSN, BSN, RN, OCN

Paul Tankerlsey has been a nurse for 10+ years, and is employed as the Director of Infection Prevention and Control nurse in Houston medical center in an LTAC setting. Clinical experience includes Joint Commission facility survey leadership preparation, program and policy restructuring for medical/surgical, intensive care, renal and hepatic transplant, and infection prevention. Program physician liaison program to ensure patient, nurse, and physician communication focuses on care without time delays or errors.

Paul is currently finished his MSN Healthcare Policy program at Chamberlain University. Paul completed the RN to BSN bridge program at Galen College of Nursing San Antonio, currently serving as a public spokesperson. Paul is on the advisory board for program curriculum for CHCP (College for Health Care Professionals), a partner with NAA. Paul has created multiple partnerships between higher learning organizations, healthcare corporations, and healthcare advocacy groups to decrease education costs and build strong advocacy partnerships.

The past year of my life has been crazy. This past year has proven to be a real challenge. As a full time nurse and nursing student, I have an over-whelming number of assignments, duties, and tasks to keep up with on a daily basis. Add in 12 hour clinicals 3 days a week, there is very little downtime in my life. Just a ton on my plate until school is finished but I wouldn’t trade my life for anything less.

Infection prevention and control has changed my life, and I love being a nurse. It is the most rewarding career. There are so many opportunities for nurses whether it is at the bedside, in the clinic, on the unit, in the classroom, or leading. Going to school has been a real blessing in my life. I enjoy working with other students as a team to complete our education which is one of the exciting things about going to school. I am anxious to finish my current degree program and to get started in my next adventure as an advance practice nurse.

NAA Today Blog

Nurses describe mental toll of caring for COVID-19 patients

Posted by on in Speak Up
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BROOKHAVEN, Miss. (WLBT) - Staff members in Mississippi hospitals are drained. COVID-19 has changed what their day-to-day looks and feels like.

Even with nearly a year of caring for COVID patients, it’s still tough for King’s Daughter’s Medical Center registered nurse Colby Kent to find the words to describe its impact on him.

“I haven’t seen as much loss of life in my six years here until this past year, mainly because of COVID,” said registered nurse Colby Kent. “And it’s been very difficult to watch. I’m still trying to figure out how to navigate and cope with those emotions.”

Brookhaven is a tight-knit community, further complicating the dynamics for nurses like Colby Kent.

“You walk in and it’s somebody you’ve known all your life and it’s somebody that’s never been sick and just trying to help them deal with it,” he explained.

KDMC ICU nurse Anna Lawrence says they are pouring everything physically and mentally into the patients who are often in their care for weeks at a time.

“I’ve lost several patients along the course of my career,” described Lawrence. “And to know that I’m their nurse and I’m that person at the bedside with them as they’re passing or the one with them through this critical time....that’s the hard part.”

She describes their role as a bridge between being everything they need from health care to a surrogate family member.

“We’ve done FaceTime,” she said about working in the ICU. “For the patients that can’t, they don’t have the capabilities to FaceTime, they’ll ask us, ‘Will you please tell my loved one this?’ And so we take down notes and we go to the bedside and we get down in the patient’s ear. And we’ll say Mr. so and so your wife called and this is what she wants you to know. Or we’ll hold a phone up for those that just need to talk to the patient in their ear. There’s obviously not a lot of communication back but just for them to be able to see their loved one.”

Both of those nurses say exercise has been one of their escapes as they continue to try and figure out how to cope with the stress of COVID care.

Copyright 2021 WLBT. All rights reserved.



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