If you’ve ever considered a job in the nursing profession, here’s what the typical day looks like for a Meridian native who recently moved to Oxford and now works as a nurse in the endoscopy department at Baptist Memorial Hospital.
Lauren Lewis was a registered pediatrics nurse in Meridian who now works in Oxford. Her mornings start early. She wakes at 5 a.m. and is at work by 6:30 a.m.
Her job rotates daily. Some days, she works in recovery. Some days, she works as a circulator, and other days as a floater. She is usually one of two nurses in the recovery room who attend to and monitor patients who have just completed a procedure.
Patients can be in recovery anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. Lewis monitors their vital signs every five minutes to ensure they are recovering well, and she works with patients’ families.
When a patient is moved to recovery, a doctor must discharge the patient. Lewis hands her patient over to the family so they can be taken home. She interacts with families by answering any questions they might have and gets them anything they need.
Lewis said one of the most important parts of her job is being a team player. She interacts with patients, their families, nurses, doctors, and surgical technicians, among others. “We are all a big family,” she said. “We really are. You have to be like that to be in the medical field. You definitely need teamwork.”
Since the opening of the new hospital facility, some departments have had patient overflow and need help. Lewis’s department takes in patients from other areas of the hospital to keep things running smoothly. In addition to normal shifts, Lewis is on call once a week.
Lewis said she moved to town to be with her longtime boyfriend, Dylan Wooten, who attends the University of Mississippi. “It sounds cheesy,” she said. “I followed a boy up here.”
Both she and Wooten are big Ole Miss fans who love attending sporting events. Wooten describes her as selfless. “She’s the hardest working person I know,” he said. “If something has to get done, it’s going to get done.”
Lewis said her favorite part about nursing is interacting with patients. “You get to meet some of the coolest people by working at a hospital,” she said.
Some patients are special. One sent his brother to the gift shop to get Lewis flowers after she took care of him. “It really is all about the patient at the end of the day,” she said. “It’s about making sure the patient is happier and healthier than when they walked in.”
Lewis normally works eight-hour days, but lately, her days have been closer to 12. At home, she cleans the house and plays with her dogs. “They are spoiled rotten,” Lewis said. “They’re my fur babies.”
Brewski is a Boston Terrier that just turned 4. Pig is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever who turns 4 in August.
“They meet me at the door every day when I come home,” she said, “and it makes coming home that much better. They barely let me get in the door before they come and jump on me.”
After long days, Lewis winds down and gets ready for bed around 7:30 p.m. She describes herself as a “25-year-old Mamaw” because she goes to bed so early.
In addition to Dylan, her job, and her dogs, Lewis loves her family. She keeps in close contact with her mother, Toni; her father, Randy; and sister, Allison, in Meridian.