Today, Jennifer Meyer admits with a laugh that human patients weren’t her first choice.
“I used to ride horses, and I was always drawn to animals, to taking care of animals,” said Meyer, a veterinary technician for 12 years before shifting to providing healthcare for people. “When we moved to the country, to Donovan, I had to look for something else.
“I started nursing out of necessity, but I really like being a nurse. I like going in for every single shift.”
Meyer believes her life experience and open mind help her be a good nurse.
“I’m generally calm, and I treat patients how I would want my family members treated,” she said.
Meyer worked as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) and then a nurse at Iroquois Memorial Hospital before going to work at Carle in Hoopeston in 2014.
The Emergency Department (ED) team in Hoopeston appreciates what she brings to the mix.
“Jen is the ultimate team player who always puts patient care first. Adding her to our ED brought a vast amount of nursing skill and knowledge, as well as leadership in her attitude and work ethic,” said East Region Patient Care Manager Kim Franklin, MSN, RN.
“Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center is so fortunate to have her.”
The variety of what Meyer helps treat is part of the attraction.
“We just never know what’s going to walk through the door. It’s never the same old, same old,” she said, adding that understanding how patients react to emergency situations goes a long way.
“As healthcare providers, we see things we might think are minor, but to the individual, what they’re going through is major,” Meyer said. “Good nurses understand that not everybody deals with being ill or injured in the same way.”
Even though it’s been a few years since she was new at Carle, Meyer assures others they’ll feel at home almost instantly.
“Everyone was so welcoming and so willing to teach me. I almost felt like I left one family and jumped into another,” she said, especially citing positive interaction between the ED’s day and night shifts.
Meyer works three 12-hour shifts a week, giving her plenty of time for any and all things related to motorcycles and drag racing with her husband and two sons, who she affectionately calls “gear heads.”
Other plusses Meyer lists at Carle include:
- Tuition assistance for her bachelor’s degree
- Teaching others as a preceptor
- Continuing medical education
- Magnet® designation, the nation’s highest honor for nursing care
- Great Place to Work in Healthcare® honors
- Pathway to Excellence Program® (east region)
“Carle is a great organization with opportunities that are wide open, especially with so much growth and so many patients who need us,” Meyer said.