Adena Physicians & Staff, Services & Specialties

Nursing a True Calling for Adena Caregiver

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Nursing is not just a job, it’s a true calling. Feeling that calling, however, doesn’t result in a career by itself – it requires nurturing and growth opportunities and, sometimes, a few missteps before finding the perfect fit.

Brooke Johnson began nursing school in 2009, aided by a scholarship awarded to her by the Adena Health Foundation. She completed her nursing school clinicals through Adena and began working for a small hospital near her home in Leesburg, but this wasn’t the right fit for her.

“I didn't find my footing in nursing and was really, truly considering a career change,” she said.

Then she came to Adena, taking a casual position at Greenfield as an emergency room nurse, and she realized that emergency nursing was her calling.

“I truly have a real passion for emergency nursing, processes, and the important work that lies within the ER as the front door of the hospital and where patients go on their worst day,” she said. “Knowing that they’re scared, but we aren’t, and we are ready to care for them.”

Adena invested in Brooke’s career, giving her opportunities for additional education and certification. She went from working as a staff nurse to a charge nurse to a clinical nurse educator, then a nurse manager. Now she is nursing director of emergency services, an exciting progression for a nurse who almost left the profession.

“Without Adena,” Brooke says, “I would no longer be a nurse.”

Brooke believes the way Adena empowers its caregivers is what sets it apart from other systems. For instance, she recalls a situation involving a patient who had passed away unexpectedly in the emergency department. He was going to donate his body to science, which meant his family would not get the closure of a funeral for approximately two years.

“Instead of not giving them that closure, we hosted our own funeral,” she said. “It was very meaningful to the patient’s family and, honestly, to us as caregivers to be able to have that much impact on someone's life.”

Brooke says Adena encourages that kind of action.

“We are asked to do what’s right for the people that we serve,” she said. “The focus has always been to bring care to the patient instead of bringing the patient to the care.

“I think that's what sets us apart — we don't try to take people out of their communities. We try to make their community better.”