Rafson takes nursing skills to LegislaturePublished 9:23pm Thursday, March 7, 2013
Judy Rafson, a registered nurse and family nurse practioner who works for Vidant Beaufort Hospital, worked as Nurse of the Day at the N.C. General Assembly on Thursday.
Rafson is the occupational-health nurse practioner at PotashCorp-Aurora, according to Pam Shadle, spokeswoman for Vidant Beaufort Hospital.
Rafson served both houses of the General Assembly on Thursday. She was the sole health-care provider working at the Legislature because there was no Doctor of the Day on Thursday.
“What it is is the Legislative Building has a first-aid room. They try to get volunteer doctors and/or nurses — in my case, nurse practioner — to staff it for the day. It’s a volunteer position,” Rafson said Thursday afternoon. “You come and staff the first-aid room. You write prescriptions if you’re a provider and someone really needs it; otherwise, first aid, basically. … Anything or not much of anything can walk in on any given day.”
Rafson said the most-serious case she’s dealt with while on duty at the General Assembly had to do with a spring day and a teenage girl wearing sandals. She jammed one of her big toes into one of the big, brass doors at the entrance to the Legislative Building.
“She tore her toenail all to bits and pieces, had a bloody and very painful toe. So, I had to clean up and bandage that for her and help her get to an urgent-care (facility). At that point, it looked like her nail needed to be attended to beyond first aid.”
Rafson said no one at the General Assembly “has keeled over with a heart attack.”
“Potentially, there could be somebody who’s seriously ill and, of course, you’d have to be first responder and then call the EMTs in as fast as they could get there,” she said.
“What a nice honor and opportunity for Judy to serve as Nurse Practitioner of the Day at the General Assembly. We are certainly proud of Judy and the work that she does on our behalf at PotashCorp-Aurora,” wrote Susan Gerard, senior director of growth and clinical services at Vidant Beaufort Hospital, in an email.
“I chose to serve as Nurse of the Day because I enjoy it — this is my third time. I can model nurse-practioner expertise in the occupational setting of the Legislative Building,” Rafson said in a news release issued by the N.C. Nurses Association, which recruits nurses to work at the General Assembly when it’s in session.
Rafson’s duties included providing services such as taking vital signs, checking blood pressures, and dispensing over-the-counter drugs for headaches, upset stomachs, dealing with allergies legislators and legislative staff members may have.
She also served as Nurse of the Day on Jan. 26, 2011.
“Many NCNA members who have served as Nurse of the Day have expressed that the experience has validated their choice of the nursing profession. These nurses have certainly enhanced the positive image of nursing in the state of North Carolina,” reads the release.