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PROFILE: National Nurses Week

Veronica Washington of Brewton enjoys living and working in her hometown. Most of all, she enjoys the profession of nursing because it allows her to “make a difference,” everyday.
Submitted photo

This week The Brewton Standard sat down with nurse, Veronica Washington. She works at the Country Place Senior Living of Brewton. This week, she shared about how different life has been on the job since the pandemic. Interview by Barrett Edge

Q: When and where were you born?
A: “Here in Brewton, Alabama”
Q: Where did you attend school?
A: W.S. Neal High School; Jeff Davis Community College (Coastal Alabama Community College); Reid State Community College

Q: Where all have you lived?
A: “I am originally from the Damascus/Boykin area, but I have always lived here in Brewton and been in this area all my life.”
Q: Tell us about your day-to-day.
A: “I am the nurse supervisor here. We check the meds. I am pretty much like an in home nurse.”
Q: What led you to the field of nursing? Why did you want to pursue it?
A: “I started nursing, actually when I went to college and when I got out of schools many, many years ago. I was in secretary work, and I did that for a while and I realized, ‘This is not what I want to do. This is not me.’ When I first got out of high school, I started as a CNA over at Westgate. That got me in the nursing field.”
Q: How long have you been a nurse?
A: 17 years
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: “The most rewarding part about my job is being able to make a difference to help someone.”
Q: What has been the most difficult part about working during the pandemic?
A: “Not being able to get those hugs that you would get on a daily basis”
Q: Have you worked in harder conditions?
A: “No”
Q: What is one thing you want the community to know?
A: “Really we need to recognize our nurses more because we are the hands, feet, and eyes of the physician. Some people think we have an easy job, but it is not an easy job because when you go home you do not cut off nursing there. You constantly have these patients on your mind— ‘What I could have done different?’;‘Should I have done this?’ or ‘Should I have done that.’ Just appreciate your nurses a little bit more.”
Q: How are you protecting yourself?
A: “We are doing our social distancing here. We do wear our masks. Frequently hand washing, which that was a norm for us anyway, but protection. I limit myself of going out and socializing, just work at home is my daily routine now.”
Q: What is one good thing that has emerged from this crisis?
A: “I think it has drawn people closer, because they’re missing taking that advantage of well I don’t get to see my mom and I don’t get to see dad as much. It really just draws them closer to know how important it is to keep in touch with the family.”
Q: What do you enjoy about living and working in Brewton and Escambia County?
A: “Well, I have been here all my life. It is a small town and you get to know everybody. That is the rewarding part, it is just a great place to live.”
Q: What is the one thing you are going to do when the world finds some relief from the pandemic?
A: “I will probably take a little vacation.”
Q: What will the new normal look like for you at work?
A: “Being able to walk in that door every morning and get that hug I am accustomed to.”

 

This week The Brewton Standard sat down with nurse, Valerie Moulder. She serves as a W.S. Neal school nurse. This week, she shared about how different life has been since the pandemic began. Interview by Barrett Edge

Valerie Moulder of Brewton looks forward to going to work every day at her alma mater. Most of all, Moulder loves seeing the students everyday and enjoys a different field of nursing. Photo was taken while school was still in session.
Submitted photo

Q: Where were you born?
A: Milton, Florida

Q: Where did you attend school?
A: W. S. Neal and Ed Reid Technical College in Evergreen, Al.

Q: Where all have you lived?
A: “Brewton, Al my entire life.”

Q: Tell us about your day-to-day.
A: “My morning routine starts off giving medicine. Students are continually coming to my office for temperature checks, accidents and any/all other health issues.”

Q: What led you to the field of nursing? Why did you want to pursue it?
A: “My junior/senior year I went to the Health Occupation Class at the Escambia Brewton Trade School, which I loved. This definitely convinced me that I wanted to go in the nursing field. It has always been my dream to go into a field where you can have the opportunity to assist people in need and feel rewarded for doing so.”

Q: How long have you been a nurse?
A: 22 years.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: “Working with small children is a rewarding experience. Children are fun and everyday is a new adventure! I love kids…they are the best!”

Q: What has been the most difficult part about working during the pandemic?
A: “Fortunately, working with the school system, I really haven’t had to work during the pandemic.”

Q: Have you worked in harder conditions?
A: “No, I wouldn’t say harder, but I have worked in different settings, such as doctor’s offices and the hospital.”

Q: What is one thing you want the community to know?
A: “I love my job and I will always be dedicated to those I serve.”

Q: How are you protecting yourself?
A: “I stay in for the most part unless it is going out for essential items. When I do go out, I wear a mask, use wipes and constantly sanitize.”

Q: What is one good thing that has emerged from this crisis?
A: “Unity.”

Q: What do you enjoy about living and working in Brewton and Escambia County?
A: “I am blessed to live in a community where everyone works together, looks out for one another and stays strong during difficult times like this.”

Q: What is the one thing you are going to do when the world finds some relief from the pandemic?
A: “Thank God for the blessing and answered prayers!”

Q: What will the new normal look like for you at work?
A: “I think things will basically remain the same for me, however, I will be more cautious and concerned about the health needs of our students.”

Above, Maggie Peavy, left, Maryetta Hamby, middle, and Beth Higdon, right, serve at West Gate Village. The nurses enjoy helping residents on a daily basis and working together as a staff.
Standard photo/Barrett Edge

This week The Brewton Standard sat down with nurses at West Gate Village. During brief interviews, the nurses shared more about themselves and how difficult work has been since the pandemic. Interviews and photo by Barrett Edge

Full Name: Maggie Peavy, RN ADON/ QA Coordinator
Hometown: Brewton, Alabama

Q: Where were you born? A: Brewton, Alabama

Q: Where did you attend school?
A: T.R. Miller High School and Jefferson Davis Community College (Coastal Alabama Community College)

Q: Where all have you lived?
A: “I’ve lived other places but always ended right back here.”

Q: Tell us about your day-to-day.
A: “We do resident care, whatever they need.”

Q: What led you to the field of nursing? Why did you want to pursue it?
A: “I was a CNA here in the early 90’s, and I realized I could give so much more as a nurse.”

Q: How long have you been a nurse?
A: 23 years

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: “I enjoy interacting with our residents and when we have family members interacting with them as well, and the staff. We have a good time here and we love our residents.”

Q: What has been the most difficult part about working during the pandemic?
A: “The most difficult part is wearing the mask and not being able to have that full on face-to-face with your residents and for them not to see you smile.”

Q: Have you worked in harder conditions?
A: “Nursing is always stressful but this has been difficult. It is so different for us.”

Q: What is one thing you want the community to know?
A: “We are working so hard to protect our residents.”

Q: How are you protecting yourself?
A: “We follow guidelines from Alabama Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention”

Q: What is one good thing that has emerged from this crisis?
A: “I see more families. We take advantage of the parks, I have seen more little kids out riding bicycles and more family time together that you have not noticed before.”

Q: What do you enjoy about living and working in Brewton and Escambia County?
A: “I love the small town. I love the feel of a small town. It is a wonderful community, and it is so giving, and that is what I love so much about it.”

Q: What is the one thing you are going to do when the world finds some relief from the pandemic?
A: “Really, my life has not changed much. The thing I think has changed is I am on the board for Paws Crossed Dog Rescue. We’ve been limited as to what we can do. We’ve got a lot going on still, but it is not the same.”

Q: What will the new normal look like for you at work?
A: “This is our new normal and we are going to do that until this is over.”

Full Name: Elizabeth Anne “Beth” Higdon, RN-MDS Coordinator
Hometown: Brewton, Alabama

Q: Where were you born?
A: Brewton, Alabama

Q: Where did you attend school?
A: Flomaton High School and Jefferson Davis Community College

Q: Where all have you lived?
A: “When I was born, we lived in Century, Florida. Flomaton, McCall, and Brewton, as an adult.”

Q: Tell us about your day-to-day.
A: “Every nurse and caregiver is on high alert at all times. Even when not at work, we worry about this virus. We wear masks all day and are thankful we still have access to them.”

Q: What led you to the field of nursing? Why did you want to pursue it?
A: “I never thought I would be a nurse. When I became a single mom, I became a CAN to pay my bills, but as I worked, I came to love working with the elderly and went back to school for my RN.”

Q: How long have you been a nurse?
A: “7 years had been a CNA 13 years before getting RN.”

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: “I enjoy having a ‘working family’ atmosphere with my co-workers and residents.”

Q: What has been the most difficult part about working during the pandemic?
A: “Spending more time away from families and knowing our patients can’t see their families although face time and video chat helps.”

Q: Have you worked in harder conditions?
A: “No, although nursing is far from manual labor. It is very stressful and has a toll on your body and mind.”

Q: What is one thing you want the community to know?
A: “We are doing our best at keeping your loved ones safe and healthy. Please do your best to help slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Q: How are you protecting yourself?
A: “We are following CDC guidelines.”

Q: What is one good thing that has emerged from this crisis?
A: “People are spending more time with their families and loved ones.”

Q: What do you enjoy about living and working in Brewton and Escambia County?
A: “I love that Brewton is very family and community oriented.”

Full Name: Maryetta E. Hamby, LPN/TX Nurse
Hometown: Castleberry, Alabama

Q: When and where were you born?
A: Muskegon, Michigan

Q: Where did you attend school?
A: Conecuh County Jr. High School- Grade through high school; Nursing school- Reid State Community College.

Q: Where all have you lived?
A: “Michigan and Alabama”

Q: Tell us about your day-to-day.
A: “General patient care. I am a treatment nurse so I tend to any wounds we have, and keep a general view of anybody’s skin.”

Q: What led you to the field of nursing? Why did you want to pursue it?
A: “I have always had a compassionate heart.”
Q: How long have you been a nurse?
A: 36 years
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: “Being able to help people.”
Q: What has been the most difficult part about working during the pandemic?
A: “Having to restrict how our residents are able to communicate and be in general populations.”

Q: Have you worked in harder conditions?
A: “Honestly, no.”

Q: What is one thing you want the community to know?
A: “We’re doing all we can to keep our residents safe from this condition that is out in the communities.”

Q: How are you protecting yourself?
A: “We come in everyday and wear our PPE and isolate ourselves even outside of here.”

Q: What is one good thing that has emerged from this crisis?
A: “It definitely gives you a more personal relationship with each person that you are taking care of because their needs are different now.”

Q: What do you enjoy about living and working in Brewton and Escambia County?
A: “I just love rural Alabama. It is just the best to me. Here in Brewton, we are close enough that if we have a need, it is easy to get it.”

Q: What is the one thing you are going to do when the world finds some relief from the pandemic?
A: “Take a vacation!”

Q: What will the new normal look like for you at work?
A: “Right now, this is unknown.”