June 3, 2004
Opportunity draws nurses to Methodist Specialty Care Center
By Lisa Uzzle Gates
Health and Research News Service
JACKSON, Miss.—Pam Everett is excited about being on the ground floor of a completely new venture in Mississippi health care.
She is one of more than 40 nurses who will care for patients at the Methodist Specialty Care Center, which opens Feb. 23 in Flowood.
“This is not a nursing home. It’s a place for the severely disabled to receive nursing care. It’s a totally new concept to the state and I am very excited about being a part of it. I feel like a trailblazer,” Everett said.
Everett started her career as a licensed practical nurse in 1977. She worked for several years for a nursing agency, filling in at hospitals and nursing homes on a temporary basis. About eight years ago, the Terry resident decided she was tired of moving from place to place. “I had been floating around all those years and I was ready to settle down,” she said.
A colleague introduced her to the idea of rehab nursing at Methodist Rehabilitation Center. She began working at the Jackson hospital in August 1995, having earned her registered nurse degree shortly before coming to Methodist. She is moving to the specialty care center when it opens.
“I really like rehab nursing. You see the fruits of your labor. Patients come in and they may be unresponsive, but you see their progress as you go along,” she said. “A lot of our patients come back to see us, and they remember us for the rest of their lives. It’s very rewarding, something I never experienced before in all my years of nursing.”
That bond between nurse and patient will be even stronger at the Specialty Care Center because it is the patients’ home. The building’s design reflects the desire to give the facility a residential atmosphere and make it more comfortable for residents and staff. For example, the two patient floors have three short wings, with nurses’ stations in the center of the spoke-like design and day rooms directly in front of the stations.
“It’s a beautiful facility. I am just excited about every aspect of it,” Everett said.
Everett’s dedication to rehab nursing is a testimony to the work environment at Methodist and the specialty care center. “I’ve worked in all types of settings and I like rehab nursing the best. That relationship you develop with your patients and their families is what nursing is all about. I really feel this is my calling,” Everett said.
In the midst of an ongoing nursing shortage, Methodist offers a competitive salary along with a comprehensive benefit package.
"We work hard to attract good people," Kristi Sessions, nurse recruiter, said. "The shortage is all over the Southeast and here in the Jackson area, we've got five hospitals competing for the same nursing pool. And that pool is getting smaller."
Janice Davis, a certified rehabilitation registered nurse, is the director of nursing for the facility. She said the center offers the ultimate in patient care and is a great opportunity for anyone in nursing.
“It is extremely rewarding to know we are the first to be employed at this facility because it is the first of its kind in the state. We are helping people who, otherwise would have likely had to leave the state for care or stay here and possibly not get the care they really needed,” she said.
Anyone interested in a career in rehab nursing can call Methodist Rehabilitation Center's human resources office at 1-800-223-6672 ext. 3553 or e-mail Kristi Sessions, email@example.com, for more information.