My County Link celebrates National Nurses Week

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OHIO—As we come to the end of Nurses Week, My County Link is excited to hear from nurses in our community.

Registered Nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their families.

Nurses are considered one of the most trustworthy and ethical professions in the United States.

In 2020, nurses were voted the most trustworthy and ethical professionals for the 18th year in a row.

Roth at school.

Lexi Roth, school nurse at Co

vington School District said she’d recommend the field to anyone that loves people.

“There are so many different ways to be a nurse,” she said “I really feel like there is something for everyone in this field. It might just take sometime to find your niche.”

From oncology, to pediatrics, there are many different kinds of fields to pursue a career in nursing.

Roth added that being a nurse to her is a way to be the hands and feet of God.

“Nurses are pretty awesome,” she said. “It takes a lot of grit and passion. I’m so thankful for all the strong women that have mentored me into the nurse I am. It’s not always easy but always worth it.”

She was drawn to the field because it combined a lot of her personal values.

“I loved the knowledge, challenge, but most of all that I felt I would be able to impact others,” Roth said. “I knew that I needed something that was centered around caring for people because it came really natural to me. I originally thought teaching because literally everyone in my family are teachers or involved with schools. I was greatly influenced by my grandpa to look into nursing. The first day of classes something told me to switch majors. Since then I’ve never really looked back.”

Roth recently was able to follow in her entire family’s footsteps, when she took on a new job as school nurse at Covington School District this year.

“The switch from the healthcare setting into the school setting was a big adjustment,” she said. “I previously worked in the hospital and primary care, both of these settings you are surrounded by a healthcare team. In the school setting, I am the only healthcare professional other than the physical therapist. There is a lot of autonomy in my role.”

Roth said she’s much busier than you’d think.

Although there is way less activity in the care given, it’s still busy.

“In the school setting my days are filled with unexpected injuries/sick visits, diabetic checks, medication management, emergency planning, charting, screenings, health education, and lots of phone calls,” she said. “I think there is a lot of misconception about school nurses not having much to do. I never could have imagined all the responsibilities prior to becoming one.”

While Roth is still on the cusp of her nursing career, other nurses are just wrapping up their’s.

Mary Rodeheffer, retired hospice nurse at EverHeart Hospice, began nursing when after she started her family.

She’d always had dreams of a career in the field, but her passion for it came back as she spent more time in hospitals with her father.

“I started my nursing when my dad had cancer,” she said. “On my first day of college classes, he passed away. So, I’ve always been caring for people, even before I was a nurse. He was in the hospital a lot, and being in the hospital again drew me to that desire.”

Nurse Honor Guard-Mary R. (first on the left).

Retirement has not slowed her down.

Rodeheffer returned to EverHeart as a volunteer shortly after her retirement on May 1, 2023.

“I’ve really enjoyed now that my retirement has started, I have signed up as a volunteer for EverHeart,” she said. “I was able to do my first trip as the honor guard for nursing. It was the first time that I ever did that, so it was a really awesome experience.”

The Nurses Honor Guard pays tribute to nurses at the time of their death by performing the Nightingale Tribute at the funeral or memorial service. This service is similar to a military tribute and officially releases the nurse from their nursing duties.

Something she took away from the experience is that once you are a nurse, you are always a nurse.

“She was pretty sick when we got there, so she wasn’t talking a lot,” she said. “But, at one point, someone in the Honor Guard said something about her being a retired and no longer a nurse, and she spoke up quite loudly with, ‘I will always be a nurse.'”

That sentiment really resonated with her, she said.

“It’s not just a calling, it’s what you are,” she said. “Even if you aren’t practicing with the public, you’re always practicing. You will always be a nurse.”