MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Stamps finds her calling as a nurse

Published 7:26 pm Sunday, February 11, 2018

It took hospice to influence Robyn Stamps to become a nurse.

“I worked in an office in payroll,” she said. “I became involved with a neighbor who was in hospice, and spent a lot of time with the hospice nurse and the family, and in doing that, I knew I needed to go into nursing. I went to Co-Lin (Copiah-Lincoln Community College) to get my nursing degree.”

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That was three years ago, and the influence of that hospice nurse has remained with Stamps, who has been with Merit Health River Region since August and already secured a place of her own with the hospital staff.

She is the hospital’s first recipient of the DAISY Award For Extraordinary Nurses, an award that honors nurses for their skill and compassion when dealing with patients and their families, and helping nurses see in themselves what their patients, families and colleagues see in them.

The award was the result of a letter from one of the patients she cared for on her floor.

“This nurse is amazing inside and out,” wrote the patient, who was not named. “She’s always smiling and happy. She is one of the most compassionate yet loving nurses I have ever met. She has an easy way about her when she is communicating with her patients, which builds a trust that allows you to know you are in good hands.

“She listens to her patients, keeps them updated on their plans and care, and she is calming and assures them that they are with them through their difficult times being an in-patient. Words cannot express how grateful I am, or was, to have her as my nurse. She treated me like I was as important as family. If it wasn’t for her, I don’t know how things would have turned out.

“She does so much more than just take care of her patients. She is part teacher, part motivational speaker; part therapist. She gives the profession of nursing a wonderful name.”

Stamps is the weekend night nurse for the hospital’s fifth floor, are known as med surge, working 12-hour shifts on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

“We get it all,” she said of the area. “We get patients from the ER, patients who have transferred from ICU back to the floor, a lot of post-op surgery. We see a little bit of everything. Working the floor is fast paced; you learn a lot because you see so much. It’s a good work environment, there’s real good teamwork.”

Because she lives about two hours from River Region, she said, she usually spends her weekends at the hospital, but she said that’s not a problem.

“I enjoy just being able to be there, especially at night, because they’re (the patients) there by themselves. You get to go in and know them and spend time with them, and that’s why I like night shift. I like helping people and seeing them get better and going home.”

Working on the patients on the fifth floor, she said, allows her to get attached to some of the patients she cares for.

“You get very attached to them. We have a lot of people who come back, and you kind of make file — get to know them pretty good.”

And that extends to the families.

“I think nursing has a lot to do with support, not just for the patient but for the family,” Stamps said,

“Working with the family to let them know how the patient is doing what’s going on with the patient.”

Eventually, she said, she wants to work in hospice care because she sees it as another way to help patients and families, but I love doing this; I love the hospital.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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