Throughout life we all have critical decisions to make - decisions that affect our futures, our families and sometimes others. For Terry Wright, choosing to begin a second career and making that second career nursing was one of the great decisions of his life. This decision has not only benefited him, but also the countless patients he has cared for throughout his 15 year career.
Terry is very passionate about nursing and about life. As he talks about what he does, the love for his life and career show in his excitement to learn, to care for others and to enjoy the journey. Terry Wright is Heber Valley Medical Center’s 2010 Nursing Excellence recipient.
“Almost every day I think I am really grateful for the opportunity to work with such special people, the rewards are immense and nursing has been a great place for me to be. I love it,” mentions Terry.
In early June, Terry was recognized at Intermountain’s Nursing Excellence luncheon. “This is a very gracious honor and I’m not sure I’m deserving of it,” he humbly responds.
The Nursing Excellence Awards Luncheon honored 26 Intermountain nurses who distinguished themselves professionally, using our Extraordinary Care and its Six Dimensions—along with our Healing Commitments—as our nomination criteria. This year’s nomination criteria also placed a special emphasis on the writings of Florence Nightingale, being the 100-year anniversary of her passing.
Each facility’s nominee was considered collaboratively, getting input from many staff members. Nursing leadership submitted stories that demonstrated each nominee’s ability to live at least three of the goals proposed by Florence Nightingale in her writings:
• Health maintenance - “Health is being able to use well every power we have to use.”
• Infection and injury prevention - “Do no harm”
• Illness recovery - “Place the patient in the best condition for nature to act upon him.”
• Health Education - “Nursing is an art and a science… nurses must be truth seekers; either through research, statistical analysis or additional formal education or training.”
Nursing is Terry’s second career. Years ago he was in woodworking, after much encouragement from a friend, he investigated nursing and returned to school. “It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” he replies.
When Terry talks about the path that led him to nursing there is passion ringing in his voice, “I was drawn to nursing because it provided me with the opportunity to interact with people more, I also love being able to serve those around me.”
He also mentions that throughout the past 15 years the rewards of nursing have been immense. The rewards of nursing may not be what we initially think they are, but the rewards for Terry are moments with his patients, these moments really matter, those rewards really impact Terry, his patients and those around him – sometimes for a lifetime. Terry describes those rewards as healing moments not only for the patient, but for him as well.
Michele Ludlow, Director of Nursing at Heber Valley Medical Center recognizes Terry’s outstanding love for his patients. “I’ve witnessed Terry in several situations, some in my role as nurse manager and others as a family member of one of his patients. I’ve seen him pull up a chair to sit with a patient when the pain was more than a patient thought they could handle. He visited, he learned about her life and he stayed bedside until relief was found.”
“What an impact he has made on the lives of his patients,” mentions Michele. “Terry exemplifies the environment we are striving to create for each patient.” The night Terry sat with his patient, was one of the highlight’s he will always remember. We may never know what that visit meant to her as she was in pain; but for Terry those are the moments that make nursing so rewarding.
“The thing about nursing is we get the opportunity to sit and visit with our patients about their lives, and things that have impacted them and it takes the relationship to a new level and it is very rewarding,” mentions Terry.
Prior to coming to Heber Valley Medical Center, Terry was the manager of Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplant and Med / Surg ICU at Good Samaritan Hospital. Good Samaritan is a 650-bed hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.
“This is a very different environment than what I’m used too, but this is right where I want to be. There is a very good chance,” continues Terry, “that I will get the opportunity to care for people that I rub shoulders with in the community. That’s an incentive for me to provide a better quality of care.” These people are not just patients, I really care for them.”
Terry talks about those rewarding moments when all the heart-ache of working with others is so worth it.
He shares an experience he had with a patient years-ago. She was a new cancer patient, so her first time on our floor was going to be lengthy. She was heart-broken that she was going to be away from her dog for such a long time. Our staff brought the dog in over one weekend and she was able to spend some time with her puppy – this was such a healing moment for this patient and so rewarding for the entire staff to be part of this.
In under a year, Terry feels like this is home. “It is just a fun place to work. The people I work with are great; the staff are like brothers and sisters. I admire their skills; there are some very smart and excellent caregivers working here and I am proud to be part of this team.”
The passion that flowed through Terry’s voice is evident, that passion is a love for life and for his career, and that passion is the reason Terry is Heber Valley Medical Center’s 2010 Nursing Excellence recipient. He is exemplifies what we do at Heber Valley Medical Center.