Nurses Week Profile – Shelby Wise
Surgery is nerve-wracking for many patients. No matter how confident the patient is in his or her care team, apprehension and fear can bubble up. Ultimately, the patient has to leave their family behind — in the waiting room or even across the country — and take a leap of faith. Thanks to Shelby Wise, patients at Conroe Regional Medical Center (CRMC) in Texas don’t have to go it alone.
“Some patients are just terrified as you roll them back into the operating room,” says Wise, Perioperative RN at CRMC. “Holding their hand or taking that extra minute to keep talking to them to explain what’s going on is so precious to them. To be with that one patient from beginning to end, caring for them in one of their most vulnerable times, is amazing.
“So many say, ‘Thank you so much for listening to me,’ and that’s nice to hear, but I don’t do it because I expect thanks. I do it because I love it.”
Finding a fit
Having just started her nursing career one year ago, after graduating from Sam Houston State University, Wise feels lucky to have found her niche in the operating room (OR) quickly. As part of the StaRN program, she got a better understanding of the OR by taking classes. She learned about everything from timeouts to prepping, to participating in simulation days, where nurses go into an OR and act out what they should do in a real situation.
“The program really gave us confidence when we were assigned to our facilities,” says Wise. “It allowed me the opportunity to get into a nursing specialty that I really wanted to pursue, and it gave me the skills and basic foundation to work in the OR.”
Wise fell in love with neurological care from the start. She was encouraged by the neurosurgeons, and immediately formed a rapport with them.
“Neuro is my home,” she says.
Wise’s supervisors agree, “Shelby has a great ‘can-do’ attitude and willingness to learn,” says Surgical Services Nurse Director Laurie Phillips. “Physicians like her and she is a good team player, which is one of the reasons she was chosen to be part of the elite Neuro team here. She was also voted by her peers into a position on the OR Unit-based Council. Put simply, Shelby’s skills are excellent.”
“I don’t do it because I expect thanks. I do it because I love it.”
Wise looks forward to serving on the new council because she believes in its goal: to give all nurses a place to talk openly about problems they see, or questions they have, and to find ways to address them.
“I look forward to finding solutions,” she says. “I love the staff I work with, and we work well together. Everyone always puts patient safety first, and this is another way to do that and help improve our environment.”
Ambition in action
Improvement and growth are personally important to Wise. She’s already planning to get her CNOR certification as soon as she completes the required second year on the job. The certification will provide her with a key asset in providing optimum care to patients before, during and after surgery, and she’s grateful to have staff supporting her ambitions so early in her career.
“Everyone at HCA Healthcare is so helpful to support any way that we want to grow,” she says. “They’re always encouraging nurses to go back and get the degrees they want, always pushing for new certifications.
“Everyone is super supportive, and I know it’s a place I’ll be able to grow.”
SHELBY WISE, RN
Perioperative RN, Conroe Regional
Medical Center, Conroe, Texas
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