When moving from New Orleans to the Acadiana area 19 years ago, Jeaneth, RN, knew she wanted to work at a children’s hospital.
“I wanted to work in a high-acuity hospital, and I wanted to be where there were a lot of specialties,” Jeaneth says. At the time there was no day-shift position, which was important for that time in her life, so Jeaneth joined the team at Our Lady of Lourdes as a diabetes educator and loved it.
Jeaneth attended professional conferences and came to know everyone at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center in that first role with our ministry. Eventually she moved to a position on the dialysis team, which was her first experience working on a team of mostly men.
“It’s totally different, and they were wonderful,” Jeaneth says. “We had fun while we were taking care of patients.”
Jeaneth’s most memorable experience caring for a patient came during this role. What began as numbness in her legs progressed to paralysis up to her neck. Eventually the patient was on a ventilator, but upon discharge she was able to get up from her wheelchair and walk.
“Tears came to our eyes because not only had God been good in healing her, but we were a part of that journey and we made a difference in her life,” Jeaneth says. “That’s very memorable still today years later.”
Finding Her Dream Job
Eventually a day shift position became available at Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s & Children’s Hospital in the neonatal intensive care unit, and Jeaneth jumped at the chance to apply.
Jeaneth hit it off with the hiring manager, and after their conversation she was offered the role. “The rest is history,” Jeaneth says. “I’ve been in the system for 19 years, and I couldn’t be happier.”
Jeaneth has met amazing people during her decades with our ministry.
“You’re going to have great coworkers who will never let you down,” she says. “If your day is hard, they’ll be there. My friends in the unit, we are a family.”
Jeaneth is also blessed with supportive leaders. “We have skilled managers and directors,” she says. “You have the help and resources that you need.”
Opportunities for growth and career development also abound.
“You can be whatever you want to be and work as hard as you want to because this system will allow you to do that,” Jeaneth says. “They will allow you to grow.”
Inspiration in the NICU
Jeaneth finds inspiration in the resilience of the babies she cares for in the NICU. She sees miracles every day as the team works toward the common goal of getting the babies well enough to go home and stay home.
As a NICU nurse, a big part of her role is supporting the babies’ families, which starts with listening.
“They are difficult times, especially for babies’ families,” Jeaneth says. “Families tell us how they feel and how we can help them. Unless we listen, we can’t do anything for them. So listening is a good skill all nurses and healthcare workers need to have to be able to do our jobs.”
Despite facing challenges, the babies in the NICU manage to smile, a testament to the dedicated care provided by the healthcare team. The collaborative spirit, where everyone works towards the common goal of sending healthy babies home, fuels Jeaneth’s passion for her work.
Prioritizing Flexibility and Family
Flexibility in her schedule is a big part of Jeaneth’s job satisfaction.
“I’m off work every third Sunday so I can go to church, which is very important,” Jeaneth says. Having a say in her schedule and having leaders who will work to meet her needs also makes a difference to her.
“Having time with my family is very important to me, especially because my daughter doesn’t live in town,” Jeaneth says. “We have to go see her or she comes to visit us.”
Jeaneth’s husband is a pastor, and prayer is a big part of their family life. She appreciates working for a ministry in which prayer is a regular part of her workday, too.
“We can pray before our day starts, and for me that’s very important,” Jeaneth says. “Starting the day with prayer is amazing because that helps our day go much, much better.”
Jeaneth’s next career step is retirement, as she approaches three decades of her nursing career.
“I’m looking forward to retirement,” she says. “I’ve been so happy here. I want to retire here and just live happily ever after.”