The summer sun has arrived and so many things are moving in the right direction. June brought us the first day of summer and Father’s Day, along with important occasions such as Juneteenth and Pride Month. July is just around the corner with 4th of July and summer fun.
Most importantly, we thank you all for the excellent work and dedication you delivered in June and throughout the unpredictable days of the pandemic. Your expertise – and your flexibility – have helped patients receive the care they’ve needed, when they needed it. We are so lucky to have such a great team!
We wish you an amazing summer ahead. Here are some fresh updates and an opportunity to get to know two more of our Night Nurse family members. Enjoy!
Tami and Stu
Welcome New Night Nurse Team Members!
Great news, we’ve hired more nurses to help triage patients!
Please welcome these new nurses to our Night Nurse family: Carol Abbott, Jessie Blanchard, Kelly Fieldings, Kelsey Habermehl, Felicia Harris, Lin Harth, Melanie Johnson, Maisha Kaimenski, Charlotte LaRoche, Maura Milner, Vanessa Phipps, Rebecca Sones, Maria Stark and Dawn Williams.
We also welcome back RNs Lindsey Goldberg and Allison Smith. We’re so happy these former team members have returned to Night Nurse! Thank you all for joining us to provide timely triage service with good outcomes.
Wanted: More Great Nurses Just Like You!!
We’re looking for experienced adult and pediatric nurses, with both part-time and full-time positions available. You could earn cash incentives for referring new colleagues. Please introduce us to your RN, APRN, and NP friends who might like to join our Night Nurse family, or invite them to visit our online Careers Center here
GETTING TO KNOW YOU: RN MARY JANE SCHREINER
One day, many years ago, a 12 year-old Camp Fire Girl named Mary Jane needed to earn a badge in first aid. She didn’t know it at the time, but that moment inspired an entire career and life journey. The young Portland, OR native expected to learn basic band-aid skills at her Red Cross training, but ended up with so much more. Her dream to become a nurse was born.
After high school, Mary Jane became a nurse’s aide, then lab phlebotomist, an EMT/paramedic, and then a flight medic. She wanted to go to school to become a nurse, but then life happened. Now known as Mary Jane Schreiner, our colleague decided to put her nursing dream temporarily on hold to raise a wonderful family.
Once her children were grown, Mary Jane dove right back in to the healthcare field. She took a job as a monitor tech on a telemetry floor at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center (PHSW) in Vancouver, WA in a Cardiac step-down unit. With the help of scholarships, she began her nursing pre-requisites in 2003 and graduated in 2007.
“So I began my dream job as an RN on that same PHSW telemetry floor at age 57!I also trained to work ICU and CVICU. I loved nursing and was so happy to care for patients.”
The next chapter in Mary Jane’s story happened in 2014 when she and her husband moved to Montana to help his elderly parents. This would still allow her to care for others, but not in a clinical setting. The Schreiner’s new home was Cut Bank, Montana, a very small town on the edge of Glacier National Park. It is known as the coldest place in the continental United States, and any nursing jobs would be a long drive away.
Mary Jane decided to formally retire, but that was short-lived. The passion to practice her nursing skills was just too strong. She temporarily took a job as a prison nurse, but it wasn’t a good fit for her.
Then Mary Jane and her husband moved to another location in Montana to be even closer to her in-laws. Her current residence is just eight miles from the Canadian border, offering endless panoramic views of the Sweetgrass Hills, tranquil valleys, and soaring mountains. Truly like living in a postcard of the majestic northwest! Even better, Mary Jane’s brother relocated to the very same village, so she has even more family close by.
Still, this small remote town has only 200-300 people and it’s not close to any nursing opportunities, so Mary Jane was still in retirement.
Then one day, while browsing online, Mary Jane found Night Nurse. It was the perfect solution for an experienced nurse like herself to work from a remote area. It would allow her the flexibility to help her in-laws and to enjoy retirement while working as a practicing RN – all without having to drive hours and hours to and from work.
We’ve been lucky to have Mary Jane in the Night Nurse family as an excellent adult RN for more than five years now. In addition to her triage work, she also serves as a preceptor to onboard new RNs. It’s been a win-win for everyone.
“Luckily, I found Night Nurse and it has truly been such a blessing.I love the company and everyone I work with.” Mary Jane is quick to compliment her co-workers, noting “The caliber of people at Night Nurse is top-notch. I love the way the whole organization works together as team to help each other serve patients.” She added, “When you have a wonderful employer, you know it. It’s like gold.”
Mary Jane and her husband are also devoted to helping more than just family and patients. They have become caretakers of some 30 cats in their region. The Schreiners leave food out for cats all year, and they keep their garage open and heated through the bitterly cold winters so their feline friends will have a warm, safe place. “Winter can be lethal for cats here. We often find some with ears frozen off, and they’re often alone and hungry. We have to do our part to help” Spoken like a true humanitarian.
Mary Jane’s husband mostly cares for the outdoor cats, while she looks after the indoor guests. “Each morning, I have a whole bunch of cats waiting for me to give them treats. We love caring for these animals.”
Since they are more than 100 miles from a humane society, it’s hard to find homes for these cats. The Schreiners proactively help each one. New guests are brought to the vet to catch up on shots and to bring them back to health.
When she’s not caring for family, patients, and cats, Mary Jane enjoys crocheting, knitting, and keeping up her vegetable garden. She also likes to read. She’s currently researching the fascinating topic of internal family systems.
Looking back at her career and her life, Mary Jane reflected, “Sometimes you need to stand back to take a closer look at what you really want. Search for what’s true and use it to strengthen your life.” Thank you, Mary Jane, for your insights, for being such a humanitarian, and for being part of our Night Nurse family!
MAJOR TECHNOLOGY UPDATE!
We’re constantly working to improve our systems to keep Night Nurse on the cutting edge of technology. Today, we’re happy to announce significant updates to our Night Nurse Client software. The latest updates include enhancements that will help both dispatchers and nurses.
Now, all information from the answering services will arrive right in Night Nurse Client. No more paper faxes, and no more emails!
For Dispatchers: Say goodbye to our email-based procedure. We’ve eliminated Outlook, all emails, and all attachments. Now you’ll see a split-screen display with both the fax image and the encounter report. You can simply distribute new calls without hopping between different programs. The nurses will also see the fax, so you’ll never have to search for an old email to verify names and numbers.
For Nurses: You can now also see the original fax from the answering service. Just click the “Show Fax” button and it will appear. This will eliminate calls and Telegrams to dispatch to clarify names and phone numbers. You’ll be able to work more quickly with the push of a button!
The new Night Nurse Client launched on Tuesday, June 29. The software will automatically update itself next time you open it, but please feel free to call tech support if you need help.
VERMONT BECOMES A COMPACT STATE
The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) continues its momentum to align all 50 states and U.S. Territories for the greater good of patients. We are happy to report that Vermont’s Governor signed legislation on June 7 that will bring The Green Mountain State into the compact. This means that compact nurses will be able to triage Vermont patients under their existing license, beginning February 1, 2022.
THE NLC GAINS MOMENTUM
Night Nurse’s home state of Massachusetts is also inching closer to joining the compact. A May 2021 report issued by the state Health Policy Commission to the Massachusetts State Legislature stated that there are “Multiple benefits for Massachusetts in joining the Compact, including for the oversight of nursing practice in Massachusetts, for health care employers, and for individual nurses.”
Governor Baker is now supportive of Massachusetts joining the NLC for pandemic-related reasons, and we’re hopeful that the legislators will enact the bills titled HD.1988 and SD.671 in 2021.
Guam recently joined the NLC, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are currently considering NLC legislation as well.
HAPPY 4th OF JULY!
Fourth of July festivities are often capped off with a stunning fireworks show. We turn our heads to the sky to “ooh” and “aah” at one of summer’s most beloved traditions. Here are a few facts that you may not have known about fireworks.
• The American Pyrotechnics Association reports that more than $1 billion is spent annually on fireworksin the U.S. alone.
• Only about 10% of fireworks are launched by pyrotechnics professionals. The rest are backyard displays.
• Have your burn protocols handy! There are nearly 13,000 fireworks-related ER encounters each year. Fortune Magazine reports that approximately 70% of these patients are male.
• If you’re not a fireworks fan, how about chocolates? In 2002, Nestlé set a Guinness World Record with a tasty alternative. Their version of a firecracker was nearly 10 feet high and 5 feet in width. Best of all, it was loaded with 132 pounds of Swiss Cailler chocolate. Yum!
PROGRESS AGAINST THE COVID PANDEMIC
We’ve come a long way in our journey to advise patients through the COVID. Everyone, from our nursing team to our dispatchers, have made a difference. Thanks to you all! Nationally, more than 325 million vaccine doses have been administered and 154 million people are fully vaccinated. Cases are reducing, and many states have safely dropped mask obligations and social distancing requirements for those who are fully vaccinated.
We still have the need to protect children and other unvaccinated members of the population. We may see updated adult and pediatric COVID protocols this summer to help guide patients the rest of the way out of the pandemic.
Healthy body, healthy mind. That’s the mantra that drives Keda Smith. Ever since childhood, Keda’s grandfather, a military veteran, instilled the notion of daily exercise. Seven days a week, no matter what, Keda fits in a workout of some type.
Her favorite activities include weightlifting, jogging, Pilates, stretching, and yoga. She also just started taking a Krav Maga class – a high-intensity form of martial arts that originated in Israel. When she doesn’t have time for a formal workout, Keda improvises. A few extra minutes on a slow overnight shift becomes an opportunity to exercise. She’ll pull a jump rope out of her purse and start going, or even just begin a set of jumping jacks. She’s always thinking about how to stay fit and healthy.
Keda said, “Some people gained weight in the pandemic because their gym was closed, but there are so many activities you can do at home. Even housecleaning can be made into exercise.” According to Keda, aim for 90 minutes of exercise whenever possible.
Exercise allows Keda to release stress in a positive way, giving her a healthy mind as well as a healthy body. She is also thoughtful about nutrition. Keda keeps her immunity strong with vitamins, orange juice, and her newly discovered favorite, elderberry soup.
She thrives on education and is passionate about helping others. “I always want to be full of knowledge and constantly like to learn new things.” This allows her to share more information with family and friends to improve their health as well.
Keda’s drive to help others began long ago. As a young person growing up in the city of Boston, Keda belonged to the Pathways mentoring program. She fondly remembers her mentor, Patricia, a volunteer from Lahey Hospital who Keda met when she was 14 years old. “We shared the same birthday (March 2) and she was like family to me. Patricia taught me so many things, and often reminded me of two important things. First: Be yourself. Secondly: Read as much as you can and always further your education.”
Patricia passed away when Keda was in her 20s, but she made an everlasting impression. Keda was so inspired that she later became a volunteer and developed her devotion to serving others. She recalls, “The program allowed me to work with and better understand people from all walks of life. It was incredibly rewarding.” Keda then got involved with several other groups, including one named “Gang Peace.” She became a peer leader and held workshops to help educate inner-city youth about avoiding cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, STDs, and other pitfalls.
Through her volunteering work, Keda became particularly concerned about the practice of single-sale cigarettes. “These products were a trick to get children smoking. Cigarettes were sold like candy for 25 cents each. I would see eight-year-old children on the street smoking, and it just broke my heart.”
Keda connected with other concerned citizens and began collecting signatures for a petition. Together, they were able to successfully ban single-sale cigarettes in Boston, helping to keep more kids away from smoking. Their story was written up in the Boston Herald and several local magazines. Keda even appeared in some of the anti-smoking television ads!
One of Keda’s other passions is for fashion. Keda first got excited about style and beauty as a child, walking the runway in fashion shows around age nine. Then, as a young adult, she worked in high-end retail stores where she learned how to sell luxury clothing to discerning customers. “You have to be on-point to sell fashion. Customers expect the salespeople to look the part, so I learned how to dress, apply make-up, and present myself in a professional manner.”
Today, Keda loves bright colors. She says, “Go bold and make a statement!” Her closet includes swaths of neon yellow and highlighter green. Want a free fashion tip from Keda? “Be comfortable whatever you’re wearing. Your confidence and comfort in your own skin are what people notice most.”
More than 20 years ago, Keda moved from Boston and into the suburb of Framingham, MA. She was a single mom and wanted a quiet environment with great schools for her daughter. Tyesha, a Framingham State University student, inherited her mom’s love of helping others. She’s studying to be a case manager and currently works to help underprivileged young people find housing, clothes, and other resources.
Keda also has another special family member in her life, her dog “Baby.” This blonde Yorkie-Pomeranian mix is just 4.5 pounds, and she makes Keda and Tyesha so happy!
Moving to Framingham brought Keda closer to us, which means it was just a matter of time before she made her way to Night Nurse. She and (dispatcher) Danielle Ramos went to medical assistant school together, and Danielle referred her to us. Keda also knew dispatcher Monica Signorino from their shared love for fitness (“we were gym babies together”).
All the stars aligned in July 2015 when Keda joined Night Nurse. Now Keda works with us full-time. Five nights a week, including two overnights, Keda is here to make sure everything runs smoothly.
“I love Night Nurse because I know I’m doing my part to help children, parents, and adults. It’s a great feeling. I get true heartfelt warmth from assisting the nurses and helping them serve patients when they need it most.”
Keda also loves her colleagues at Night Nurse. Danielle and Monica have been her friends for a long time, but she also looks forward to working one-on-one with Jill each night. “Jill and I survived the COVID pandemic together! We would sit masked-up and socially distant in the call center to make sure our nurses always had the support they needed. Jill keeps a smile on my face all the time.”
Thank you, Keda, for keeping smiles on our faces, inspiring us to help others, reminding us to stay fit, and encouraging us to boldly express our inner fashionista! We are so happy to have you on our team!
100% FICTIONAL FUNNIES
Did you hear about the patient that tried to play hide and seek in the hospital? The nurses found him in the ICU.
There once was a nurse that made so many rash decisions that she decided to become a dermatologist.
Remember: Honesty is the best policy, especially when it comes to radiologists. They can see right through you.
A patient asked his doctor for a diagnosis. She responded, “You may have pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, but it’s hard to say.”
A triage nurse spoke with a patient who just awoke from a very scary med-induced dream.
Patient“Ever since I woke up, I keep seeing zombies.”
RN: “Interesting … have you seen a psychiatrist?”
Patient: “No, just zombies.”
An ER nurse began evaluating a new patient who forcefully pointed out his ailments.
Patient: “It really hurts when I touch my leg, my arm, and even my forehead!”
RN: “I’m not surprised it hurts, you have a broken finger.”
SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE
We’re so lucky to have nurses from nearly every discipline. Not only does it help provide excellent care for patients, it also gives us the chance to learn from one another. Do you have a helpful nursing tip or anecdote? Something we can all learn from? Please share your wisdom in our next newsletter.
We’re always open to receive brief informational submissions that would be of interest to our team. Please send us an email if you’d like to propose an article. We can provide guidelines on topics, tone, length, and deadlines for your article.
THANK YOU, EVERYONE!
Each person plays an important part in making sure patients are our #1 priority. Thank you again for sharing our common mission with such dedication.
Have thoughts and ideas on how to make your job and Night Nurse even better? Please reach out to us any time. We also love the occasional check-in to say hello, so email or call us anytime.