Adena Physicians & Staff, Community News

Nurse Aims to Help People from Worst Moments to Best

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Cheirstynn Lemaster approaches her work every day with one thing in mind.

“I want to provide care for patients who may be experiencing some of the worst moments of their lives, hoping to get them to some of the better parts of their lives,” said Lemaster, a charge and floor nurse on one of Adena Regional Medical Center’s critical care units.

For Cheirstynn, that desire began to form at an early age. While in elementary school, she spent a lot of time in hospitals as the result of her father’s chronic illness, getting the opportunity to see what nurses did for her and her family and wanting to one day give back for that. Then, prior to her father’s death when she was 14, she had gained experience serving basically as his personal nurse on occasions he was able to come home, developing a real calling for that type of work.

Her professional connection to Adena Health stems back to the age of 18, when she was a nursing student who also worked as a patient care associate and unit secretary. Following nursing school, she joined the health system full time.

“Basically, I’ve had a real sense of home since I’ve been here,” Cheirstynn said. “It’s a big family at Adena and we all put our patients first – I really wish everyone in the community could see that the way I do. We become family to these patients in more ways than one.”

That was particularly true when she joined the health system in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many other nurses at Adena providing critical care, she remembers holding the hands of patients – sometimes those in their final moments – when family couldn’t be at their side. While heartbreaking and emotional, the importance of providing that level of quality, compassionate care to patients and their family members at a time it was needed most only reinforced her passion for working in critical care.

That compassion, she said, is a common trait among those she has worked alongside at Adena, many of whom she sees bringing their best daily for both their patients and each other. She also has experienced it from leaders with whom she has worked who have encouraged development of her leadership skills and movement into leadership roles.

As national Nurses Week looks to both thank nurses for all they do and raise awareness of the importance of the profession, Cheirstynn encourages anyone on the fence about pursuing a nursing career to think very seriously about doing it.

“I say take the leap,” she said. “I had talked myself out of going into health care several times, but my husband pushed me to do it. It really is a great opportunity for anybody, and I truly have met some of the people who have touched my life the most through health care.”

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