Called to Care for High Risk Moms

Called to Care for High Risk Moms

by Mackenzie Jarreau

When I think of being a nurse, I feel like it was something that I was born to do. I am a third generation nurse, following in my grandmother, mother and sister’s footsteps. Nursing is a true passion and I couldn’t imagine doing or being anything else.

During nursing school, I was always asked if I was going to be an ICU nurse like my mom or an OR nurse like my sister – but I felt it was important to be my own “kind of nurse.” When I stumbled upon the maternal/perinatal aspect of nursing, I knew it was the perfect fit for me.

After being a nurse on a labor/delivery unit, I realized I was drawn to the high risk patient population. I enjoyed sitting with patients, learning about them and their complications and, most importantly, being there for them in the face of uncertainty or tragedy.

I gave birth to my son at Woman’s Hospital in October of 2019 and just two days later, while still a patient, I interviewed for a position on the High Risk Unit (HRU). I can’t help but laugh when I remember Crystal Martin, HRU manager, called me for the interview and asked me if I knew where Woman’s was located. I was actually talking to her from a hospital bed in their mother/baby unit on the 4th floor!

Needless to say, I gladly accepted the life-changing interview and walked back into the hospital five days after giving birth to interview for a new journey. I was given the wonderful opportunity to join the HRU staff and have been blessed with a group of women I consider family ever since.

Being on the High Risk Unit is like being with your sisters. 

Together, we celebrate milestones, births, deaths, victories and tragedies. We know more about one another and spend more time with one another than we do our own families. Every day is not a happy day to be a HRU nurse. We often get patients who are going through something traumatic or scary, but I am blessed to be able to work in such a special area with such a great group of people.

If I make just the slightest difference in my patients’ or my co-workers’ lives, then I feel I have done what I have been called to do.

I am truly so lucky to love what I do and love the people I do it with in such a wonderful place like Woman’s Hospital.

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