Celebrating National Nurses Week
April 18, 2023
Get to know two of the faces behind Mississippi Valley Surgery and Endoscopy Center’s confident patient care
When patients come in for surgery, there are a lot of nerves. From the first greeting at the front desk to the surgical procedure itself, a patient-centered experience can make all the difference in putting someone at ease.
At Mississippi Valley Surgery Center and Endoscopy Center in Davenport, the commitment to excellence in care and service means providing comfortable and safe surroundings that promote healing. Who helps our patients feel confident every day? Nurses.
To honor hard-working nurses as well as all healthcare professionals who make a difference to so many, we’re celebrating National Nurses Week on May 6 – 12. Held annually since 1991, the week gives us designated time to recognize our nurses’ invaluable efforts and vital contributions to our center.
We sat down with Gina State, Lead Operating Room Nurse for Mississippi Valley Surgery Center, and Lisa Barker, Lead Nurse in Pre- and Post-Op, to learn why they chose careers in nursing, what keeps them passionate about their work and how advancements in outpatient procedures are positively impacting their profession.
Why did you become a nurse?
Gina discovered her calling for the industry after watching nurses care for her sick grandmother in the hospital. It was their expertise and compassion that inspired her to follow in their footsteps.
“What struck me most about that experience at such a young age was how much the nurses cared for my grandmother and spent so much time with us. It truly made all the difference,” Gina said. “They empowered us with their knowledge and made the whole situation more tolerable.”
For Lisa, her interest in the healthcare field began with a childhood curiosity about science and biology.
“I loved playing doctor,” she said. “And I especially loved the game Operation.”
But Lisa also grew into her passion for excellent patient care, choosing nursing as the way to spend the most one-on-one time with patients. Her drive to make each patient feel like a member of her family reflects the highest patient care standards of Mississippi Valley Surgery Center and Endoscopy Center.
What do you like most about being a nurse at Mississippi Valley Surgery Center and Endoscopy Center?
“I put myself in my patient’s shoes to understand what information the patient and their family need to know, and that’s very important to how we work here,” Gina said. “It’s so rewarding when I get a sincere thank you from a patient or family member. That’s how I know I’m making an impact.”
That feedback means everything to Lisa as well.
“We hear from patients that they feel safe, and they know they are in great hands under our care,” Lisa said. “They come in nervous and not knowing what to expect, but slowly we can ease their fears. We get great satisfaction knowing we made a stressful time easier on our patients.”
Because each outpatient procedure can be vastly different, MVSC is a unique environment where learning and communication are at the forefront of everyday work life.
Physicians from a variety of practices choose to perform their outpatient procedures at the Surgery Center and Endoscopy Center. Because the team specializes in outpatient surgeries and procedures, they are experts in the latest, proven techniques that lead to better outcomes and faster recovery. In addition, on-going staff and team development is important at both centers. This allows healthcare professionals to grow and challenge themselves.
For Gina, helping patients and their families understand their unique situation is one of the most rewarding parts of her job.
“We work together as a team with the goal of being better for our patients,” she said. “If we are helping each other, it’s easier for us to help our patients.”
How is the profession of nursing changing?
Since starting her nursing career 16 years ago, Lisa has witnessed numerous advancements in care that allow patients to go home on the same day after surgery.
“It’s amazing to see,” Lisa said. “Even total joint replacements can be done on the same day, giving patients the opportunity to recover in the comfort of their own homes.”
Gina agrees that advancements in minimally invasive procedures are changing nursing in a positive way.
“Because of advances in our procedures, we are able to get patients in and out much faster. They are resting at home in no time,” Gina said. “This has caused us to really step up our communication and teamwork as a staff.”
Although outpatient surgery brings a shorter stay, the same patient-centered care is provided throughout the surgical process. Regardless of a patient’s length of stay at the center, Lisa said her job is to be an advocate.
“We always ask patients about their primary concern, whether it’s pain or anything else, and we make sure to address that,” she said. “Their voice is always heard.”
While Lisa and Gina are just two members of the expert nursing staff at Mississippi Valley Surgery and Endoscopy Center, we’d like to thank all nurses for their work and dedication this month and always. If you know a nurse, take time during the month of May to celebrate all they do for our community.