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Dec 30, 2022

Hello, Nurse!

Barry Kaufman

Photography By

Two Lights, One Stand
On the front lines of medicine, you’ll find some of the bravest people on earth.

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Quick! Name a quote from the great Maya Angelou. Like most people, you probably went right for her No. 1 all-time hit, that quote about how people will forget your name, but not how you made them feel. You did, didn’t you?

And that’s fine, it’s her most popular for a reason.

But if you hear the entirety of that famous quote, you’ll realize she never intended for it to be a one-size-fits-all declaration of how anyone make a difference. She reserved that honor for those whose passion lies in one of the most noble pursuits possible: nursing.

To provide the full quote: “As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the heart, mind, soul and body of our patients, their families and ourselves. They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

She may have been on to something. Over the past few years, we’ve all come to realize how selflessly nurses give to their profession. We’ve found out the emotional and physical toll it takes, and we’ve been rightly awed at how these magnificent human beings handle that stress.

Like Maya Angelou, we would like to salute nurses everywhere by introducing you to some of our area’s finest.

Connie Pratt
Specialty: Geriatric
Years in the Field: 6
Medical Facility: Pruitt Home Health

What inspired you to become a nurse?
My kids were one and four, and I was really unhappy in my career. I decided I needed to make a change, and I wanted to do something that gave me a sense of purpose and helped others.

Tell us about a touching moment when you knew this was truly your calling.
There have been so many! Every time I am with a dying patient, either alone or with their family, I do everything I can to give them peace and comfort. Sometimes people need permission to die, and helping the patient and families get through that process is very rewarding to me.

Give our readers a health tip that you believe in wholeheartedly. Everything in moderation!

You have an emotionally stressful occupation. How do you decompress after a long day?
Talk about it. I have an amazing network of nurse friends. My family is amazing, but you really have to be in the medical field to truly understand some of the craziness we experience.

Favorite thing to do when you’re not working: Spend time with my family. We are currently doing a staycation at a resort on Hilton Head for our youngest daughter’s birthday.

What is your favorite medical TV series (drama or comedy), and is it anything like real life? Call the Midwife. It is amazing, and I think it is pretty accurate for the times.

January Snow
Specialty: Multiple
Years in the Field: 11
Medical Facility: Outpatient Surgery Center of Hilton Head Island

What inspired you to become a nurse?
That is kind of a loaded question. Part of me wants to just say it was my “calling.” But there is more to it than that. I have always loved, even as a child, helping people. It’s just how I was built. Most of my early career days were in food and beverage, taking care of people in that light. I had the opportunity to build a wonderful camaraderie with many people during those years. As I entertained broadening my career horizons, the only path that continued to shine for me was to be a nurse. I knew this path would lead me to have more opportunities to take care of people on a whole other level. It was true. I worked hard to complete the schooling it took to get this degree; working hard is an understatement, as it should have been. The hard work did pay off. And to this day, even with the good and not always good memories, all of them have made me who I am today.

Tell us about a touching moment when you knew this was truly your calling.
I knew nursing was my calling when I had to go through a personal time with my dad. A tragic circumstance occurred when I was younger that kept him in the hospital for two months. During that time, I had the opportunity to connect with many nurses. The nurses’ tender care for my dad exuded empathy and compassion, with a gentle bedside manner. Our family needed support during a hopeless time, and they brought me and my family hope. Then I knew that I, too, wanted to bring hope, compassion and empathy to others in their time of need.

Give our readers a health tip that you believe in wholeheartedly.
Find “balance.” This applies to work and family, with diet and exercise, and simply life itself. This is a process that is always going to be a learning curve for me. But I believe having “balance” in life will benefit everyone’s health in the long term.

You have an emotionally stressful occupation. How do you decompress after a long day?
That all depends on how stressful the day was. If time allows, exercise is the best release. This may sound funny but cooking dinner for my kids and listening to their day always helps take the stress of the day away.

Favorite thing to do when you’re not working: Doing something fun with my son Nolan and daughter Sydney. Relaxing at home. And sometimes finding me time.

What is your favorite medical TV series (drama or comedy), and is it anything like real life? Grey’s Anatomy was always my favorite. I still like to watch it every so often. No, it’s definitely not like real life.

Ann Jacoby
Specialty: Currently PACU (Post Anesthesia Care Unit), previously Pediatrics
Years in the Field: 20 years in variety of nursing roles including cardiac care, labor & delivery, newborn nursery, pediatrics, and school nursing

What inspired you to become a nurse? Wanting to help others. I remember pretending to be my grandmother’s nurse as a child, and I always wanted to work in the healthcare field. The beauty of this profession is the options you have within the field. I have been fortunate to pick areas that interest me and work best with my family life.

Tell us about a touching moment when you knew this was truly your calling. This is tough to narrow down. I have been lucky enough to experience bringing new life into the world, which is one of the most amazing moments you can share with your patients. I have also held a hand as families have lost their loved ones. I wouldn’t trade any experience I have had; they have all helped mold me. But if I have to choose one moment, it would be the joy of taking care of a child, reassuring them and then receiving their unconditional love. I worked in pediatrics for 17 years and have watched my first round of babies I delivered now graduate from high school. I started as a school nurse in 2014, and now my kindergarten babies are 13 and 14 years old and about to enter high school. Taking care of their boo-boos, whether big or small, hearing them say Nurse Ann, and seeing the smiles on their faces brings me pure joy.

Give our readers a health tip that you believe in wholeheartedly.
Don’t Google it. You cannot get a medical degree from the University of Google! Trust your healthcare provider and their knowledge which comes from many years of schooling and experience.

You have an emotionally stressful occupation. How do you decompress after a long day?
Walks on the beach or walking my dog Coby. Recently, I am loving walking in the evening amidst all the holiday lights; it just calms me and brings a smile to my face.

Favorite thing to do when you’re not working: Being out on the boat or anywhere near the water. It’s especially fun since most of our friends have boats too, and we can meet at the sandbar with our dogs and just chill on our own little island oasis. I grew up on the island, and you can’t take the saltwater life out of my blood!

What is your favorite medical TV series (drama or comedy), and is it anything like real life? Grey’s Anatomy—especially in the days of McDreamy and McSteamy. It’s nothing like real life, but it’s fun to watch the drama. Nurses always laugh when they attempt to shock a patient who has flat lined (the correct action is to start CPR; you can’t shock someone with no heart rhythm.)

Kenny Campbell
Specialty: RN – Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
Years in the Field: 25
Hospital: Coastal Carolina Hospital

What inspired you to become a nurse?
In 1992, our first born came to us on December 6. Caroline was born with Down syndrome, and we found out her diagnosis at birth. The OB staff and Dr. John Fontana were so incredible to my wife after we were released to go home and continually checked on her and Caroline. I was so moved by what I saw in their profession that I enrolled in school at age 27 for the first time, and I took my first prerequisites one month later. At the time, I was somewhat unsure of myself and working full-time wondering if this was the right thing, but my gut said yes. Caroline had open heart surgery at 11 months old, and we spent a month at the Medical University of South Carolina and were at her side the entire time. At that point, I put all doubt behind me and pressed hard toward finishing. I graduated in 1997 at age 31 and have never looked back. It is the most rewarding career I could imagine anybody having. I use the days when I decided to go back to school as the motivating factor in dealing with patients and their families. I will never forget how we were treated as a family following Caroline’s diagnosis, and I carry that in the forefront of my mind, knowing that it makes a difference in someone else’s life.

Tell us about a touching moment when you knew this was truly your calling. Getting families through tough times and having the privilege of taking care of someone new every day are two experiences that affirm that I am living out my calling.

Give our readers a health tip that you believe in wholeheartedly. Take your medicine as prescribed.
You have an emotionally stressful occupation. How do you decompress after a long day? I have a 30-minute ride home, and I use that time to decompress. I also laugh at myself a lot.

Favorite thing to do when you’re not working: Landscaping the yard.

What is your favorite medical TV series (drama or comedy), and is it anything like real life? Believe it or not, I have never watched a medical TV show.

Note: Kenny Campbell was the 2022 Daisy Award winner at Coastal Carolina Hospital. The Daisy Award is one of the highest honors, recognizing nurses for over 22 years in over 5,400 healthcare facilities. The nurse recognition program is based on what is most meaningful: stories of patient and family gratitude for their extraordinary compassionate care.

Rebekah Crowe, RN, OCN
Specialty: Part of the Beaufort Memorial Breast Care & Surgery team
Years in the Field: 3 years (1 in this specialty)

What inspired you to become a nurse?
I always knew I wanted a job that involved people. I also loved science—it was the subject that came most naturally to me in school—and medicine. I grew up working at my dad’s optometry practice, and I loved spending time with patients and being with them as they dealt with health issues.

Tell us about a touching moment when you knew this was truly your calling.
I’ll never forget the first patient I had in my nursing school clinicals. She was the kindest woman, so full of gratitude for all the help she was receiving. Even though at the time I was only allowed to do the bare minimum for her, I had a feeling that I was in the right place. Throughout nursing school, I jumped at any opportunity to help, even if it was with the smallest thing. I find so much joy in having the privilege to serve and build relationships with my patients.

Give our readers a health tip that you believe in wholeheartedly.
Working with surgical oncologist Dr. Tara Grahovac at Beaufort Memorial Breast Care & Surgery, I’ve seen the importance of yearly screening mammograms, and I encourage all women to keep up with theirs. I wholeheartedly believe that if there are screenings your provider recommends, you have them! Prioritize your health! As someone who doesn’t have the best family medical history, I strive to take the best care of myself that I can. You are your own best advocate.

You have an emotionally stressful occupation. How do you decompress after a long day? My family and friends mean so much to me, and my faith really makes a difference. Being a nurse can take a heavy emotional toll at times, so taking time to refill my “cup” and spend time with the people I love helps a lot. I also enjoy journaling. Putting my thoughts on a page enables me to process my emotions and be ready to tackle a new day.

Favorite thing to do when you’re not working: I really like taking our dog for walks and spending time outside. I’m also an avid reader and have my nose in a novel any chance I get.

What is your favorite medical TV series (drama or comedy), and is it anything like real life?
I don’t normally watch medical dramas, because I can’t help but point out the errors and the unrealistic storylines. My husband and I enjoy watching crime shows like Law & Order: SVU and Criminal Minds, although I’m sure those must seem unrealistic to anyone who works in law enforcement.

Luchie Bevan
Specialty: RN – Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Critical Care Unit (CCU), Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU)
Years in the Field: 45
Hospital: Hilton Head Hospital

What inspired you to become a nurse?
When I was five years old, my mother gave injections to the people in the rural area where I grew up. They brought chickens and vegetables to pay her. Then, I saw my Aunt Julie in a white uniform, and that sealed it.

Tell us about a touching moment when you knew this was truly your calling.
I was in my first year in the ICU when I witnessed a fifty-year-old patient pass away. At the time, there was nothing we could have done differently to save her, and I carried guilt from this event for many years. Twenty years later, I realized her death could have been prevented using today’s technology. I have always been inspired by the progression of the practice of nursing and medical science, but I also know that individuals and a personal touch will always remain at the center of healing.

Give our readers a health tip that you believe in wholeheartedly.
Start with being happy and content; choose your soul mate carefully; and live in moderation. Carefully watch what you eat (and eat organic whenever possible) and have a spiritual connection to the world and others around you.

You have an emotionally stressful occupation. How do you decompress after a long day?
There are times when you can’t help but cry. Talk to your peers before you go home; they understand more than anyone else. When you take a break, do breathing exercises to relieve tension. After the drive home, you’re ready for family. Learn to separate work from personal life.

Favorite thing to do when you’re not working: Tending to my flowerpots. You see new growth and the promise of new beginnings. Visiting with friends at each other’s homes or going out for lunch or dinner.

What is your favorite medical TV series (drama or comedy), and is it anything like real life?
I love Chicago Med or The Good Doctor. Somewhat realistic but, unfortunately, you know it’s staged.

Note: Luchie Bevan was one of two 2022 Daisy Award winners at Hilton Head Hospital. The Daisy Award is one of the highest honors, recognizing nurses for over 22 years in over 5,400 healthcare facilities. The nurse recognition program is based on what is most meaningful: stories of patient and family gratitude for their extraordinary compassionate care.

Aubrey Pinckney
Specialty: Mother/Baby, Level II/Special Care Nursery
Years in the Field: 5
Hospital: Coastal Carolina Hospital

What inspired you to become a nurse?
Going back to school and nursing was always in the back of my mind. It wasn’t until I had my first son that I knew exactly what I wanted to do. All my nurses were great, but one in particular made an impression, and eight months later I was enrolled in school.

Tell us about a touching moment when you knew this was truly your calling.
I was in the grocery store, and a patient I had taken care of came up to me and said, “You probably see so many people and don’t recognize me, but you took care of me when I had my baby a few months ago.” She gave me a hug, thanked me and told me how well cared for she and her baby were. She told me she could really tell I enjoyed what I do. It made me feel so good, and I felt like I was making a difference. My absolute favorite is when I have a family for the second or third time around.

Give our readers a health tip that you believe in wholeheartedly.
I would have to say make sure to take time for yourself. Life is so busy. Between work, school, family, and all the extracurriculars, there’s not much time for yourself. It’s definitely important to take time for self-care, even if it’s just some quiet time to yourself.

You have an emotionally stressful occupation. How do you decompress after a long day?
This is embarrassing, but social media, games on my iPad (puzzles, crosswords), Netflix. My workdays are long, so coming home and catching my kids before they go to bed and then sitting and doing something mindless is just what I need after a long, crazy day.

Favorite thing to do when you’re not working: I have two boys who are really into sports. I love watching them play and develop. We’ve grown close with some of the parents on my eldest’s travel baseball team, and I really enjoy our tournament weekends. Also, weekend get togethers at friends’ or family’s houses for cookouts etc.

What is your favorite medical TV series (drama or comedy), and is it anything like real life? My favorite is Call the Midwife. I like how it’s an entertaining and historical show at the same time. I enjoy the drama and watching how prenatal and postnatal care advances moving through the 1950s and 1960s. It’s obviously not comparable to “real life” now, but I have read about midwives who worked in London in the early 1950s, and they say it is historically accurate.

Tiffany Washington, BSN, RN
Specialty: Labor and Delivery/Obstetrics/Newborn Care; OB Director of the Beaufort Memorial Collins Birthing Center
Years in the Field: 20

What inspired you to become a nurse?
Nursing is an admirable profession. I have always been impressed by nurses’ ability to address their patients’ physical and emotional needs with skill and compassion in a stressful and challenging work environment. In particular, I’ve been fascinated by women’s health care. Working in in this specialty has enabled me to find so much meaning and purpose in my professional life.

Tell us about a touching moment when you knew this was truly your calling.
Every time a patient or a provider thanks or praises me for doing a great job, I fall in love with my profession all over again! I have been a part of thousands, literally thousands, of special moments in the lives of my patients and their families. I see the “fruits of my labor” every day, and that feels wonderful.

Give our readers a health tip that you believe in wholeheartedly.
Love what you do and do what you love. You’ll put a lot of hours into your work, and it should definitely not be only about the money.

You have an emotionally stressful occupation. How do you decompress after a long day?
Spending quality time with my family is my biggest stress reliever. Watching a movie at home or catching a Clemson football game with my husband and children is the greatest. I also enjoy supporting my kids in their sporting activities. I try hard to have balance between my work and family, and scheduling time to do things that make me happy helps me to be a better mother, wife, and leader for my staff.

Favorite thing to do when you’re not working: In addition to spending time with my family, I really enjoy exercising outside, reading, and binge-watching a good series on Hulu or Netflix.

What is your favorite medical TV series (drama or comedy), and is it anything like real life?
I like to watch old episodes of House. The cases are unusual and require critical thinking skills to piece together the medical puzzles. They help me to think outside the box when providing care myself. I also really enjoy New Amsterdam. Often it is not like what we experience in real life, but it’s entertaining and makes me appreciate how great it is to work in a small community hospital like Beaufort Memorial.

Kaela Thompson, RN
Specialty: Medical-Surgical Acute Care, Adult and Pediatric, at Beaufort Memorial
Years in the Field: 3
Hospital: Beaufort Memorial

What inspired you to become a nurse?
Like so many called to health care, I felt completely helpless and vulnerable without basic medical knowledge when a beloved family member became severely ill. It was during this difficult time that I was greatly inspired by the dedication, empathy and understanding of the team that took care of my loved one. To this day, I strive to emulate the compassion of those truly remarkable health care professionals.

Tell us about a touching moment when you knew this was truly your calling.
My first experience in pediatrics solidified my passion for nursing. During my nursing school NICU preceptorship, I spent a cumulative 90 hours caring for a neonate experiencing withdrawal. This particular baby had no caregiver apart from the men and women in the hospital unit. The tiny infant would sob in a way that shattered every heart within earshot. I would snuggle the baby while charting, and eventually the baby would calm to the sound of my voice. This unwanted baby taught me a life lesson about human struggle and the importance of offering oneself through simple care and kindness. Our ability as nurses to advocate for those unable to speak for themselves is a tremendous privilege. We have the unique opportunity to educate, empower and therapeutically touch the lives of every patient we encounter.

Give our readers a health tip that you believe in wholeheartedly.
Small, consistent steps towards a healthy lifestyle can lead to big improvements in health. Moderation and a positive outlook go a long way toward achieving goals and improving overall physical, mental and emotional well-being.

You have an emotionally stressful occupation. How do you decompress after a long day?
I like to sing (very badly, I might add) in a hot shower, as it helps me to decompress and lighten up. I enjoy a good cup of coffee while taking long walks along the marsh. I am always awed by the diverse wildlife and spectacular sunsets. I also like planning my next interior design or home improvement project.

Favorite thing to do when you’re not working: I love to spend quality time with my family and friends while exploring the beauty of the Lowcountry.

What is your favorite medical TV series (drama or comedy), and is it anything like real life? My favorite series in recent years has been Outlander. I love the feistiness of the show’s heroine, Claire, a wartime nurse who is always ready to jump in and care for those in need.

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