Washington nurse honored for excellence

Published 6:21 pm Thursday, June 1, 2017

Nurse Jodi Welch always knew her calling was in the medical field.

Originally from Louisiana, Welch now calls Chocowinity home and reports to work on the cardiac/medical telemetry floor (“3 East”) at Vidant Beaufort Hospital.

When Welch headed downstairs one afternoon in May, she thought she was going to see her coworker Pam Everette be recognized with the 2017 Juanita Jackson Award for Nursing Excellence. As it turned out, Welch was actually the one recognized.

“I went flying down there, and I had my camera ready, and it wasn’t Pam. … My family showed up. They told them, but they didn’t tell me,” Welch said. “It was really nice. It was a nice surprise.”

The Juanita Jackson Award is given to a nurse who has shown excellence in his or her work throughout the year. Coworkers can nominate one another for the award. Pam Everette nominated Welch.

“(Jodi) is a true leader and respected by her peers. She is a go-to resource for not only nurses on 3 East, but to nurses throughout the whole hospital,” Everette wrote in her nomination. “Jodi makes it her duty to help keep not only the patients and families happy, but the staff. She is a team player and will jump in to help do anything that she can.”

According to Everette, Welch serves as a unit educator for her floor, participates in skills fairs, serves as safety coach for the 3 East and ICU units and participates in other community charity events.

For Welch, it’s the people she works with who inspire her to come to work every day.

“It’s a team effort,” she said. “Just hav(ing) a close-knit group of people to work with, it makes you want to go to work.”

Everette wrote, “She serves as one of the main charge nurses and always has a positive ‘can do’ attitude that is infectious to the staff. You can literally feel a difference when you walk on the unit.”

Welch said she views her work as a reality check, and each patient’s situation is personal to her.

“Every patient is like, that could be my grandmother, that could be my mother,” she said. “You can’t help but have that compassion.”

A nurse’s job, especially on 3 East, is a taxing one, with a revolving door of patients and 12- to 14-hour days. It can be a sobering experience, but Welch said she is sure she is right where she needs to be.

“I was completely speechless,” Welch said of receiving the award. “I am honored. I feel very honored.”