Sharon Cannon says a story about a cup of coffee is all it takes to let people know how important nurses are to the general public.
Cannon, the regional dean for the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at the Permian Basin School of Nursing, recalls a story about a nurse who sat down with a family as their mother was in the hospital. The nurse, bringing in a thermos full of coffee, proceeds to pour the liquid into different cups, pass them around, and asks the family to share stories about their mother.
Cannon explains hearing is one of the last things to go before someone dies, and the nurse sitting down with the family to share a cup of coffee not only allowed her to bring comfort to the family, but may have also allowed the mother to hear her family speak about her and her life.
“That touched a chord with me that said ‘That’s what we’re all about,’ “ Cannon said about the nursing profession.
But even with the stories about how nurses can make an impact in someone’s life, Cannon says the profession can sometimes cause burnout. And in an area like the Permian Basin where nurses cover a large area, Cannon is part of an organization looking to bring recognition to the profession.
Sharon Canon, regional Dean for the Scool of Nursing on the Permian Basin Campus
“Nurses are with you 24 hours a day when you’re in the hospital,” Cannon, also the treasure/secretary for Permian Basin Great 25, said. “They carry a heavy burden and a heavy load.”
Brandi McDonald, director of clinical operations with Midland Memorial Hospital, is the founder and board president of Permian Basin Great 25. The nonprofit organization was formed out of the Permian Basin chapter of the Texas Organization of Nurse Executives with the goal of mirroring the DFW Great 100, an annual event that honors nurses in the Dallas and Fort Worth Area.
“We want to educate the community on what our nurses have done,” McDonald said.
The inaugural event is scheduled for Oct. 24 at Midland College, McDonald said.
McDonald said the goal is to have the event grow and travel throughout the Permian Basin to make it more accessible to the area.
The event is scheduled to be open to the nurses nominated, their families, friends, and the general public.
Those nominated, McDonald said, would be given awards, and hopes as the event grows, is to be able to provide scholarships to help those nurses further their education.
McDonald added the organization is exploring fundraisers and other options to be able to provide those prizes. There are currently no events scheduled, she said.
“We have great people here, we have smart people here … they do a really great job,” McDonald said. “You don’t have to go to Houston, Lubbock, (for health care) … we have really great people here in West Texas.”
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