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'I like helping people'
TGMC offers extraordinary careers for extraordinary nurses
Nursing has been called the oldest art and the youngest science. At Terrebonne General Medical Center (TGMC), the nursing profession also offers many personal rewards.
Debra Lewis, RN, found her true calling, thanks to her mother's loving encouragement. "I wanted to go to law school, but she guided me toward nursing instead," says Debra, who has worked at TGMC for 20 years. "It was definitely right for me. I like helping people, and they really appreciate that you're helping them."
A native of Paulina, Debra moved to Houma in 1984 with her husband. (Ironically, he is an attorney.) At TGMC, Debra has worked in various departments and has also continued her education. In fact, she will receive her bachelor's degree in nursing this month.
Speaking from experience, Debra says, "TGMC has all of the amenities of a large hospital, but with a cozy atmosphere." She adds, "The patients know we truly care."
Sydney Bergeron, RN, BSN, is a native of Houma and was born at TGMC. Sydney loves her job. "It's the people I work with," she explains. "Everyone's so friendly and encouraging."
Sydney earned her bachelor's degree in 1988 and started working almost immediately in TGMC's operating room. At one point in her life, she took a two-year break from nursing, but was more than happy to return.
As a charge nurse, Sydney's many job duties include introducing herself to her patients before surgery and acting as their advocate in the operating room. She also works closely with the surgeons and describes TGMC's medical staff as "very, very impressive. Working with these physicians is so rewarding," she says.
"It sounds like a cliché, but what I love about nursing is that I genuinely want to help people. Working in the operating room is special to me because I can concentrate on one patient at a time, and I know I'm helping improve the person's life and health. That's very satisfying."
Joseph Plunkett, RN, expected to stay about two years when he was recruited to help launch TGMC's open heart program. That was 1986.
"I wound up loving it here," Plunkett says. "I really like the fact that it's easy to move to another area of patient care. Plus, the pay is excellent, and the patients appreciate the fact that we provide a very high level of care."
Asked what advice he would give someone considering a career in nursing, Plunkett answers, "Get ready. It's not easy, but it really pays off. Even when I have a really stressful day, I leave feeling fulfilled because I've helped someone get better."
TGMC has grown tremendously since opening its doors 50 years ago. "Because we continually grow and add services, our nurses have the opportunity to branch out into many different types of nursing," says Michelle Edwards, coordinator of clinical recruitment, retention and customer services. "It's important to provide our nurses with a quality-driven environment that emphasizes personal growth and professional development.
"Nurses are the backbone of Terrebonne General,"
Edwards adds. "They bring the care and compassion that makes our
hospital a world-class facility."
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