National Nursing Week gives us a platform to share nurses’ stories about how “we answer the call” to create a better understanding of the many roles nurses play in a health-care journey and the incredible dedication and expertise they bring to their work. The #WeAnswerTheCall Member Series highlights just a few of the many stories of the impact our nurses make.
“I feel like it chose me,” says Karissa Maendel. “Nursing wasn’t something that I’ve always wanted to do and attending college isn’t something that’s easily done on the Hutterite community, but when the RRC nursing program opened up seats so close to home it felt like an opportunity to good to pass up.”
Upon graduating as a registered nurse from the first nursing cohort at the RRC Polytech Portage Campus in January, Karissa penned a Facebook post sharing her experience as a nursing student. She started a conversation about the need for the Hutterite population to contribute to the capacity of the health system.
Karissa eloquently reflected on how a project to contribute to the health workforce aligns with the beliefs of Hutterite communities. In the post she takes an active role, saying:
“I will eagerly be a part of any conversation you wish to initiate in your community or with the leadership in your community on how to get this plan in motion.”
Karissa feels compelled to influence the larger Hutterite community to contribute to the nursing profession.
“A lot of the values of the profession align with the values of our faith and tradition,” says Karissa. “Our communities use the health system and it’s not a self-sustaining system. The shortage is so huge right now. It needs a contribution from the population that it serves.”
Karissa goes on to share that she feels there’s a lack of awareness in communities about how the Hutterite population could contribute and how the resources that they have could make such a difference. She feels it’s important for each community to have their own health-care professional to attend to their own needs and where possible divert the need for people to go to the hospital.
“My sister-in-law has been an RN for 10 years and we’ve known the benefits of having her practice and available for the needs here,” Karissa shared. “It’s not just to attend immediate care needs. It’s the knowledge base and the influence that comes with having a professional in any capacity that benefits any community.”
When asked to share an example of a time when she had answered the call, Karissa said she feels that entering the nursing profession at a time like this, when the need is so big and the profession is going through huge challenges with the pandemic, is one way of answering the call. Additionally, Karissa is answering the call by advocating for the health system and creating awareness about the nursing profession.#News