Monday, May 25, 2009

Jane Weatherford is Nurse of the Year

When announcing the winner of the annual Fauquier Health’s 2009 Ruth Krusie Excellence in Nursing Award, Linda Sharkey, executive chief nurse, made it clear that in addition to an extra dose of compassion, a nurse’s most important asset is a sense of humor. She said, “You know you’re a nurse when:
  • You compliment complete strangers on what great veins they have; and

  • You can talk about ANY bodily function at lunch.

Jane Weatherford, RN, this year’s Ruth Krusie Award winner, was a late bloomer when it came to nursing, but quickly made up for lost time. She went to school to become an LPN in the early 71970s, but did not become a registered nurse until years later, after her 40th birthday. She has been a nurse for 23 years.

Jane is effusive about her profession. “Nursing is a good fit for me because I’ve always had my grandmother’s heart to serve and nurture people.

“The most satisfying part of nursing for me is the relationships with patients. I love being able to get to know them, to allay their fears, and provide them with a good healthcare experience. I have enjoyed each department I’ve been in over the years,” Jane said.

“My coworkers during my 21 years at Fauquier Hospital have been fantastic. I have worked with nurses who have been here many years. I have gained so much knowledge from them and have learned how people can work together to provide really special care – and also have fun.”

Jane now works in the Infusion Center. She is enthusiastic about this nursing specialty. She says, “The personal care we are able to provide in the Infusion Center is very special. We have the luxury of one-on-one care with our patients and caring for those same patients over a period of time. I especially love it that we are taking care of patients who live in this community. It’s like an extended family.

“In the Infusion Center, I am blessed to work with nurses who have years of experience in oncology nursing and are also giving,nurturing people. It is a great place to be.

“Sometimes former patients greet me while I am out in the community and tell me that I was their nurse and that it made a difference to them. That means the world to me.”

Jane is glad she spent the majority of her years at Fauquier Health. She explains, “I worked at Prince William Hospital as an LPN for three years while I went to school. I worked there briefly as a registered nurse. Because of a move, I applied to Fauquier and another hospital. I was won over by a prompt response and the positive atmosphere here.”

She adds, “Fauquier Hospital does an awesome job of keeping up with technology while maintaining a personal touch. There has, over the years, been such a positive, supportive atmosphere that it makes one want to succeed.”
Jane admits that nursing is not always easy. She adds, “You don’t really know about nursing till you are plunged into it.”

Even with all the challenges, she recommends nursing to the next generation. “To a young person, I would suggest that they get all the education they can to be marketable in this changing health care environment – but when it comes down to it, what matters most to patients is that you are kind to them and do what you say you will do.”

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