LYNN– For Lynn Walton, the path to become a nurse started in a seventh grade biology class.
“We were dissecting a worm and that’s when I discovered God’s creation,” she said. “That’s when I told myself, ‘I’m going to go into the medical field.'”
Now Walton is the Program Director of Cardiac Rehab at North Shore Medical Center’s Union Hospital in Lynn and says that helping all the different people she meets is the most rewarding part of her job.
“We meet people from all over and help them change their lives,” she said. “It never gets old listening to people’s stories.
Thursday, Walton and other nurses took some time to reflect on their careers as National Nurses Week, which runs from May 6 to 12, nears its end.
Another nurse in the Cardiac Rehab Center, Maureen Weimert, also had her interest piqued in the medical field during a dissection class at Bishop Fenwick High School. She says that being able to teach and watch patients’ progress is part of what drives her.
“The key thing that we try to create is confidence,” she said. “The fact that they may feel better about themselves after being here.”
Although this week may cast specific light on nurses, Debra Ferrari says it’s not much different from any other week on the job. Ferrari works in the Psychiatric Ward at Union Hospital.
“I don’t think it’s ever just this week,” she said. “They always appreciate us and what we do for them.”
At the hospital’s Infusion Clinic, nurses Rebecca Zangari-Sansone, Colleen Passariello and Andrea Reddy don’t just see one another as coworkers.
“We are family,” Reddy said. “It’s a very tight-knit group.”
“It’s a good group,” Passariello said. “I love the small community of the hospital and the intimacy it creates.”
All three say that the close friendship of their staff transitions into a great environment for their patients.
“We love one another and work as a team,” Passariello said. “That happiness trickles down to our patients.”
“Some people come in here scared, we try to bring them into what we call a ‘no worries zone.'”
For Reddy, doing what she loves makes working at Union Hospital feel less like actual work.
“When you’re meant to do something it’s not work at all,” she said. “When the day ends and you shut the lights off I feel like it’s always been a good day.”