SOMC nurses driven by a passion to help others

Nursing is a field unlike any other. It is physically and emotionally demanding and requires those who accept its challenges to be driven by more than monetary gain.

Lisa McGowan, Amy Montgomery and Nicholas Erlenwein are all nurses at Southern Ohio Medical Center. McGowan is an RN Case Manager, Montgomery a HomeCare Clinical Coordinator and Erlenwein a circulating nurse in surgery.

Their jobs may be different, but their motivations are the same: They are driven by a desire to make a difference.

“I think it’s just something that’s inside of you,” Montgomery said. “Health care is just something that felt like a calling for me.”

SOMC, and other healthcare facilities nationwide, honored those who hear that calling during National Nurses Week. Nurses Week beginsevery year on May 6 and concludes May 12, which is also the birthday of Florence Nightengale. Nightengale is known as the founder of modern nursing.

“National Nurses Week is an important event for our hospital because it gives us the opportunity to acknowledge the individuals who dedicate themselves to bettering the lives of others,” Claudia Burchett, chief nursing office and vice president of SOMC Patient Services, said.

Montgomery and McGowan joined SOMC in 1990s, but have worked in health care for longer than that. They believe there is a dedication forexcellent care at SOMC that sets the hospital apart.

“SOMC is full of caring people. They care deeply for the patients, and they care deeply for their employees,” McGowan said.

Erlenwein has been at SOMC for six years and has already developed close relationships with his co-workers, as well as with his patients.

“This surgery’s like a big family to me,” Erlenwein. “We work so closely together that you form bonds and friendships. There are also relationships you form with the patients. They’re trusting their lives with you, and you want to do everything you can to take care of them.”

For SOMC nurses, the knowledge that they make such a meaningful difference in the lives of their patients is perhaps the most fulfilling part of the job. For those who answer its call, Montgomery believes that nursing can be one of the most rewarding professions there is.

“You get fulfillment out of every day that you go to work,” Montgomery said.