National Nurses Week is an opportunity to celebrate the certified nursing assistants, licensed vocational nurses, and registered nurses who provide essential care to many while risking their own safety.
Licensed Vocational Nurse Stacye Charles came to the nursing profession late in life—she calls it her “mid-life crisis job”—and after 20 years of providing care for patients, she’s never been happier.
“I chose nursing because I saw the value of helping people, and it was the start of my own ‘human revolution,’ becoming more compassionate,” she says. “I have always liked to help people.”
When Stacye was young, she aided in the care of her mother, who was on dialysis. “I got an early look at the process of nursing, and it intrigued me. Mom said, ‘become a nurse, because the body never changes.’”
She started as a CNA, and soon thereafter earned her degree as an LVN. She spent time as a traveling nurse in the private sector before coming to state service 14 years ago. Today, she works at Patton State Hospital, a psychiatric facility.
Her job entails monitoring at-risk mental patients and providing therapeutic support. She’s part of a complete care team and says, “nurses are the backbone of the care team; we’re on the frontlines.”
Good management of inmate movement, including quarantining and isolation, and careful screening of employees entering the hospital has —so far—limited confirmed cases of COVID-19 to just five staff and no inmates.
“Our facility and our inmates are different than other CDCR facilities,” Stacye says. “Our management is communicating well, being flexible, and our care teams are making changes as the need arises.”
We celebrate National Nurses Week by paying tribute to the compassion and expertise these women and men dispense every day.
SEIU Local 1000 member Dorrie Steadman is no exception, with a nearly 30-year career of providing patient care, including stints as a CNA, an LVN, and for the last 16 years, as a Registered Nurse (RN).
Providing Service Above Self.
Bob Mutebi is a Registered Nurse who followed his grandmother—who raised him in Africa, Europe, and Asia as a child—into the business of care and compassion. Today, he still talks with his 86-year old mentor every day about the changing dynamics of the profession.
“I was motivated by her work as a midwife with Doctors Without Borders, traveled with her often, and saw her passion for making a positive difference in the lives of her patients and their families,” Bob said.