Jessica Moore, RN, BSN // On the Frontline of Healthcare - 5.0
Jessica Moore RN, BSN works in a progressive/intensive care unit (ICU) at a mid-sized hospital in Grand Rapids, MI. She sees patients with a variety of critical illnesses that often stay on her floor until discharging. This extensive and direct involvement with patients has made a profound impact on her life. As a newer nurse, she finds the variability of the patient population to be one of the most challenging and rewarding parts of her job.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background - where did you grow up? Do you have any family members in healthcare?
I grew up in Troy, MI but moved to the west side (Holland, MI) for college. I don’t have any family members in health care and didn’t grow up thinking I’d work in this field. It wasn’t until college that I began to understand how the nursing role encompasses skill, compassion and advocacy. I found this appealing, and I liked how much of a presence nurses had with their patients. After working at an assisted living home for a few summers I knew this was the path for me!
In what setting do you work as an RN?
I work in a progressive/intensive care unit (ICU) at a mid-sized hospital in Grand Rapids. We see patients with a variety of critical illnesses that often stay on our floor until discharging. As a newer nurse, I find the variability of our patient population one of the most challenging and rewarding parts of my job. I’m learning every day!
We love people who break the boundaries and relentlessly push toward their goals. What drove you to pursue your career in nursing? Was there an event, or a personal moment that triggered it all?
I decided to pursue nursing after a semester of college feeling extremely lost. I had immense drive but no direction and was on the brink of burn out. By November of that year I knew I needed to do some soul searching. The weekend before Thanksgiving I went to a conference with other health care students and it was there, I heard nurses talk about the incredible work they were doing in their respective fields. From health education to women’s empowerment, I realized that these individuals’ careers incorporated their nursing skills with unique passions. Reflecting on my summers at the assisted living home, I realized I had been building my answer of what to pursue all along. I needed to be part of a career that could provide dignity and comfort to people at their most vulnerable and saw worth in the life of each patient through the care I could provide.
Why do you choose to get out of bed every morning (or afternoon/night) to come in to work?
I choose to get out of bed every day because I know that I have the ability to show another person that they matter. Being an ICU patient can be an extremely difficult experience. Oftentimes, it feels dehumanizing. Some days I see individuals poked and prodded, exposed and pumped full of substances attempting to save their life. Other days I provide comfort and pain relief to them in their final hours. I can show my patients they matter through my presence as they tell me their stories, through advocating for them to get the medicine they need, or by explaining medical jargon and reason for doing things to them or their families. The role of a nurse encompasses many things but showing my patients that they matter is what makes it worth it.
Nurses are always amazing advocates for their patients, and that has truly shown during this pandemic. Patients with COVID-19 are alone and scared, separated from their families. Have you had any positive experiences that you'd like to touch on while providing care during the crisis? Or even a takeaway or a change that you've made?
While providing care during this crisis, one of the biggest takeaways I’ve had is the power of presence. As my unit has transitioned to caring solely for COVID positive patients, nurses have become the only individuals many of my patients have seen for the days and weeks they’ve been admitted. Because of this, I realize the power that presence can have on an individual whose suffering. In addition, I’ve learned how to better meet the needs of people who can’t tell me what they need. Whether they are under sedation and breathing on a ventilator or exhausted from the work of breathing with a less intrusive oxygen delivery device, I’ve learned to assess and advocate for my patients subjectively. Nurses have become the eyes and ears for providers more than ever in this time, and I’m thankful to be part of a team that values this collaboration. I have been able to get patients what they need because of this strong trust and partnership.
What does it mean to you to be fueled by choice?
To me, being fueled by choice means living each day knowing you have never arrived. Every day I have the ability to become a better version of myself. This fact fuels me to never stop striving- for knowledge, strength, empathy and growth in all I do and who I am.
What mantra do you want the world to remember you by?
I want to be remembered for the way I treated others. It is my hope that I can show other people they matter through my presence and listening ear. We grow immensely through growing our empathy.
The stress has been overwhelming for all of us in healthcare. What do you like to do outside of work to keep your mind occupied? Hobbies? Any healthy habits that you've picked up?
Outside of work I love to stay active. Whether that’s running, strength training, or yoga, movement is life giving for me. I also love to read and learn. I’m a big fan of biographies and documentaries. Cooking is also a way I like to de-stress and create!