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St. Martin's Home LPN Shaundell Greene Scott!

ShaundellScott2'It's the caring, nurturing side of the profession I love the most.'

St. Martin's Home Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and Assistant Unit Leader Shaundell Greene Scott enjoys what she does for a living – caring and nurturing seniors at the home for the elderly. The 41-year-old, Sagittarian-born, mother of one, speaks about her job in this week's Health and Beauty.

Who is Shaundell Green Scott?

I am an ambitious, career-driven individual.

How would you describe yourself?

I am a fun, loving, outspoken adventurous person. I love my husband, family and my friends. I'm always there when they need me. I am a dedicated nurse who works very hard and takes good care of my clients.

Where were you born and how did you end up in this beautiful country?

I was born in Georgetown, Guyana. I first came to St. Maarten in the late 90s to visit my cousin. I fell in love with St. Maarten immediately. When I went back home to Guyana, I couldn't resist seeing if I had any opportunities to return. That opportunity happened not long after when I moved to Anguilla and then to St. Maarten, which has been my home ever since.

When did you discover your love for healthcare?

I have always been a caring person since childhood. I was always there to give a helping hand to relatives and friends that fell ill. As a child, I used to play nurse with my dolls, giving them injuries from accidents or illnesses and nurse them back to health.

What is it about healthcare that you like?

Working at St. Martin's Home, I am an advocate for my clients who are unable to do so for themselves independently. They need an extra hand to help in their tasks. It's the caring, nurturing side of the profession I love the most.

Where were you educated and what did you study?

I went to school in Guyana. After high school, I decided to try computer studies and received a diploma in Micro Computer Studies. I worked for a year at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Guyana. It was then that I realised my true calling was nursing. I became even more motivated when I saw the nurses arrive for their shifts dressed in their pristine uniforms. It was that uniform. I wanted to wear one. I enrolled at Georgetown School of Nursing where I graduated as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)/Midwife. In St. Maarten, I also trained as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)/Basic Life Support Instructor under voluntary organisation The Windward Islands Emergency Medical Services (WIEMS).

Places worked before St. Martin's Home and in what positions?

After leaving Guyana, I worked at Princess Alexandra Hospital as a Licensed Practical Nurse/Midwife in Anguilla where I delivered many babies.

How long have you been at St. Martin's Home and how did this affiliation come about?

April of this year marks five years since I have been working at St. Martin's Home. Before leaving Anguilla, I came to St. Maarten and started applying to various nursing entities. St. Martin's Home called and after a successful interview, I joined the wonderful team.

What does your job entail?

Patient care is our priority and I assist clients with their activities of daily life. The daily tasks at the homes are quite long, but here are a few things that I do on a daily basis. I administer topical and oral medications, administer intramuscular and subcutaneous injections as well as perform wound care by cleaning and applying dressings and bandages. I also assist with daily needs such as bathing, dressing, feeding and taking vital signs. I monitor fluids and food intake and output, mobilise clients safely, provide emotional support to patients and their families at times, also observing and caring clients skin to prevent potential bedsores. Then it's all about paper work and reports that go along with the job such as keeping medical records current, updating Care Plans and reordering stocks.

What differentiates you from other LPNs?

My attitude and working skills. I have a strong personality, but I am really fun to work with. I am always willing and would go the extra mile to make people comfortable or accomplish a task. I remember when I used to be tired of the demands and additional elder care that was required, but overtime, I developed a new level of patience and understanding of those unique needs. Here are a few that stand out the most to me. Experience: The elderly have a wealth of lifetime experience. I have found that they like nothing more than sharing those experiences with me, my colleagues and other patients. There is much to be learned from taking the time to speak to them. Gratitude: The rewards of helping a needy elderly person are incredible. On the flip side of the moans and groans, most patients are extremely grateful for the work I have done and that makes me feel proud. It certainly puts a smile on my face, and most likely on theirs as well. Making Friends: Elderly patients often require more one on one nursing care than younger, more able-bodied patients. I enjoy knowing I have enabled an elder client to gain peace of mind and a sense of security.

How do you think you contribute to a better society via your position?

Nursing is an important profession. It makes the health field function properly through assisting doctors and giving care to the sick and injured. As a nurse, I desire to give my undivided attention and compassion to my clients. I believe I will make a big difference and enjoy the challenges that will be set before me and accomplish them.

How can the profession be improved?

There's has always been a shortage of nurses worldwide. We need to encourage more young people to join the profession. More workshops and much more upgrading courses pertaining to nursing are also needed.

What's the funniest thing that has happened to you in your line of work?

Many things happen daily, but this one sticks out the most. I always have to laugh when thinking about this story. One evening, I was tending to a male client (who has Alzheimer's). He usually tells everyone including his wife, that I am his wife. They wanted to get him to bed, but he refused for any of the other nurses to put him to bed. So I went to him and said, "Mr. X Honey, let's go to bed." I held his hands and we walked to his room. As soon as we got to his room, he closed the door behind me, and started to try to kiss me. At that time, I was scared, I started to talk to him telling him he had to change into his pyjamas which took some time and coaxing. After getting him changed, he forgot what he was about to do so I got him comfortably in his bed for the night. I definitely learned my lesson that evening; never will I ever say to my male clients, "Let's go to bed."

Advise to youngsters who want to follow this career path?

Nursing is a career filled with endless personal and professional benefits. If you choose nursing as your career, you are choosing to help others using skills that show knowledge of compassion and caring. You get to nurse the sick back to health, give emotional, social and even physical support to the sick and injured when at times their loved ones are unable to do it for them.

Future goals?

My personal goals are to live a happy healthy and successful life and to continue to be a role model for my son. My professional goals are to excel in my profession as a nurse.

Hobbies?

My hobbies are reading, socialising with friends and family, dancing, travelling and shopping, especially shoes. I am addicted to shoes.

Pet peeve?

My pet peeve is people who blame everyone else but themselves for their mistakes and failures.

Biggest fear?

My biggest fear is dying. As the saying goes, everyone wants to live but nobody wants to die. Well, I am one of those who don't want to die.

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