September/October 2017 Pulse on Charleston Nurses

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Gaynell S. Magwood. Featured in The Pulse on Charleston Nurses.

Nursing was actually Dr. Gayenell S. Magwood’s second choice in college. “After I graduated college the first time, I wanted a ‘do over,’” she said. “An opportunity arose for me to pursue my BSN and the rest is history.” Dr. Magwood began her career as a trauma ICU nurse. “At that time, I was concerned with the continuum of care at home that the patient received from family and close friends once discharged,” she said.While working on her master’s degree, she completed a practicum with a transplant nurse and fell in love. “My time as a transplant coordinator let me combine my interest and passion for working with patients and families dealing with complex conditions,” she said. To say she is heavily involved in her community is an understatement. She was project director for REACH in 2010 and is currently heavily involved with the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society in Nursing, National Black Nurses Association, the American Nurses Association and many more. Dr. Magwood advised, “Commit to never stop learning. RNs are an integral part of the health care system, and we have a responsibility to contribute to our community.”

Dr. Susan D. Newman. Featured in The Pulse on Charleston Nurses.

Mary Guillaume realized her love of caring for older adults when she was in nursing school at Trident Technical College.“They have lived a life that we don’t see anymore,” she said. “I had the most profound conversations with them, and I knew that geriatrics was what I was called to do.”Guillaume works for Presbyterian Communities of South Carolina, specifically The Village at Summerville, a faith-based retirement community that provides multiple levels of care, including independent living, assisted living, skilled rehab and long-term care. There are five communities under the Presbyterian Communities umbrella in the state.“I started working there after I graduated nursing school in 2012,” she said. “I was an RN on the floor and had the privilege of taking care of patients as they moved through each level of care until the end of life. Knowing that you made those transitions easier is an amazing feeling.”Now as staff development coordinator, Guillaume educates nurses on providing the best possible care to their seniors. She said she feels fortunate to work with skilled staff, cutting-edge technology and brilliant physicians.“We also have the most fantastic seniors as patients,” she said. “It is an honor to be their nurse.”
Catherine O. Durham. Featured in The Pulse on Charleston Nurses.

While on active duty in the Navy, Dr. Catherine Durham was working in intensive care and noticed the importance of prevention.“I started to realize how vital the quality of primary care was and how crucial it was to have access to it,” she said.While in the Navy, Dr. Durham was selected for a program to complete her MSN. She then pursued a career in family medicine and has been working as a family nurse practitioner ever since. Although Dr. Durham is also an active drilling reservist in the Navy, holding the present rank of commander, she admitted that the best decision she ever made was to be a nurse.“Having the opportunity to engage with patients at their most vulnerable times can have a positive lasting impact,” she said. “Pursuing nursing has been the most valuable thing I have accomplished in my professional career.”She added, “I knew I wanted to be a nurse from an early age. I had an interest in helping others and loved the science associated with being in health care — those two things together were the perfect mix for me.”
William Strickland. Featured in The Pulse on Charleston Nurses.

They say working in hospice takes a special person, and William Strickland, RN, and case manager with Intrepid Hospice, fits the bill.“I want people to be able to enjoy time with their family and friends in their last days rather than worrying about going back and forth to appointments and hospitals,” he said.He said he loves the challenge of nursing.“I became a nurse because I knew I enjoyed caring for people,” he said. “Nursing offers so much to me when I am caring for people at their bedside.”Intrepid Hospice offers many facets of care once a person is diagnosed as terminal and given a prognosis of six months or less to live.“There is nothing quite so special as being with a person when they are transitioning to a new existence. It is simultaneously the most difficult yet rewarding job that a person can do. Knowing that you not only helped the person die with dignity and comfort but that you helped a loved one to achieve that goal for their loved one is an incredible experience,” Stickland said.His advice to new nurses is to study, observe, listen and ask questions.“Even when you are out of nursing school, the learning doesn’t end,” he said.

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