Taylor McGovern, 25, clearly remembers the first time he saw a life saved. While working at a grocery store on Whiteman Air Force Base, a young customer began having a violent seizure.
“There was a nurse there who took control of the situation until the paramedics came,” McGovern remembers. “I just thought that was really neat, to be the first one on the scene, to be able to help someone.”
Now a nurse at Bothwell Regional Health Center in Sedalia, McGovern is on the frontlines himself, witnessing and performing life-saving interventions every day.
While McGovern believes he was well-prepared by his classes at State Fair and University of Central Missouri, he says you can never get too comfortable in nursing, especially in the emergency room.
“You never know who’s going to walk through the door,” he says. “You’re so central to your patients. You learn every day; there’s not a day that goes by that you’re not learning.”
This mindset enables McGovern to approach every experience as an opportunity to grow. Even extracurricular activities at SFCC, which he joined as a fun way to make friends, taught him the importance of communication, whether he was performing his duties as a Student Ambassador, talking to prospective students and their families or non-verbally entertaining basketball fans as SFCC’s mascot, Rowdie the Roadrunner.
These skills came in handy as an emergency room (ER) technician, whose most important job, McGovern says, is to be helpful, take care of supplies, assist with EKGs, and other responsibilities needed at any given time. After getting his Bachelor’s in Nursing, McGovern’s role shifted to one much more centralized to specific patients.
Some nurses are able to develop a working rapport with patients, McGovern says, but this is particularly challenging for ER nurses, whose patients are often in traumatic pain and require immediate action instead of long-term care. Many ER patients are not necessarily cooperative with hospital protocol. Others are repeat visitors struggling with addiction. Regardless of their circumstances, the highest quality of care is required.
“For every patient you serve, you take care of them the same,” McGovern stresses. “You can’t tell them that they’re not in pain. When they say they’re in pain, you have to believe them.”
Though his duties vary widely case by case, McGovern says he focuses on the fundamentals, both the core principals of patient care and the intrinsic knowledge of the human body he gained in the classroom. With this essential foundation, he will continue adapting and learning to best respond to any emergency that comes his way.
Story by Jackson Ingram
Summer 2017 Communications Intern
Marketing and Communications