Maggie Falgout, our Director of Health Systems, recently sat down with fellow TeleTracking nurse, Brand Hollins, Manager, Client Delivery, to share what being a nurse has meant to her in her own life, her favorite memory, and much more.
Brandi: Thank you, Maggie, for joining us today in our interview and to celebrate National Nurses Month. When we talk about stress what initiative do you personally do to decrease your stress?
Maggie: That one is easy. I am the 10,000 steps a day walking girl. I have to find, even if it's in pieces during my day, between calls or during lunch, time to go outside and either walk, walk my dog or do whatever I've got to do to hit my 10,000 steps a day.
I also have learned as I've gotten older, that nutrition plays a big role in my mental health. I try to stay away from sugar, but it's mostly exercise and diet.
Brandi: Nursing has had a rough a couple patches over the last few years. What do you do for yourself to help become your best self?
Maggie: As I've gotten older, learning to not take everything so seriously and to really look at what matters and to me now. The things that go away, the things that pass by in life, those things are not important at all. The things that don't go away, like love, memories and companionship are the things that I’ve really chosen to focus on and letting the rest go. If things don't go as I planned, I have to remember that I don't have all the answers and that it usually works out much better than the way that I planned it if I just go with the flow. So going with the flow.
Brandi: What is your favorite memory of being a nurse?
Maggie: I think most of the people that are going to hear this memory are going to think I’m crazy, but I think the nurses will probably get it. I had a patient and we happened to share the first same first name. Her name was Margaret. She was much older than me. I was a new nurse. I was right out of nursing school and of course I was working the night shift. [Margaret] had a hard surgery and she had to stay on the med-surg floor for a long time. I always asked to take her call because I really enjoyed talking to her. She was very wise. In the middle of the night when it got quiet and I really didn't have too much else to do, during my break, I would just throw my shoes off and I'd jump up in the hospital bed with her and we'd watch TV for about half an hour and laugh and talk. She passed away not too long after she was released from the hospital, but I really cherished those times and the things that she talked to me about. It was almost like she was sent to me, to help me through this new period when I was a new nurse. It was just a really cool memory for me just to have that relationship with her and have those weird times in the middle of the night where there was nobody around and we just talked.
Brandi: I'm sure she cherished every moment of you being there with her so thank you.
Brandi: Nurses are the largest group of healthcare professionals in the United States and we have been deemed the most trusted profession for our 20th year in a row. So as a nurse what advice would you share to inspire our next generation of nurses?
Maggie: It’s funny you say that because I just got off the phone with my daughter, Maggie, who is in nursing school and she just made a grade on a test that had her in tears, but she passed. I keep telling her what my dad used to say when I used to be so worried that I wasn't going to make it and he would say, “you know what they call a nurse that makes all c's in nursing school? A nurse.” What I feel like I'm doing is helping Maggie get to the other side of this and walking her through clinicals and walking her through classes that are just killing her and, hopefully, creating another very compassionate nurse who decides to go out and get on a med-surg floor and learn her skills that she needs to know in every area of nursing and then move on to something that she really wants to do.
Brandi: Nurses really do like to volunteer, and we like to take action in our local or state community. Are there any areas where you have been able to volunteer to take that action to assist your local communities?
Maggie: About 10 years ago, right before I came to Tele, I ran a hospice for three years. Hospice is near and dear to my heart. My contribution is continuing to work with local hospices, whether that be cutting somebody's grass or reading a book to someone or going to the grocery store and dropping something off. It's very rewarding that they're at the end of their life and knowing that things are being taken care of for them. I still get to use some of my nursing skills and helping them talk through things that they're going through.
Brandi: What brings you joy in your work, either today or in the past?
Maggie: For the most part I was a labor and delivery (L&D) nurse. L&D and hospice were so similar. It’s a time of change where you get close to the family. I just feel like I've been so blessed to have been on both sides of the coin to help thousands of babies be born and probably thousands of people die. Just to be a part of their lives at those times is something that most people can't even fathom and never get to experience in their life. If I die tomorrow, I could honestly say I've seen pretty much all the good and bad that that life has to offer because of my nursing degree and I’m very grateful that I dropped out of college and went to diploma school and became a nurse.
Brandi: Thank you so much, Maggie. Your interview has been phenomenal and nurse to nurse I thank you for all your years of service and I'm so glad we've met here at TeleTracking.
Maggie: Brandi, you've been so important to me you're such a dear person. I love all my nursing comrades at Tele. We're a certain breed. It's kind of cool. It’s fun.
Brandi: That we are. I agree. I agree.
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