Kelsey Wolfe

Health Care Hero: ‘Mental health affects all of us, and it is OK to ask for help’

The Dayton Daily News is profiling the people who work hard every day to save lives and take care of us. Nominate a Health Care Hero by emailing Rebecca.Mullins@coxinc.com.

Name: Kelsey Wolfe

Hometown (where you live now): Dayton

Job title: Registered Nurse

Where do you work: Atrium Medical Center

COMPLETE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

Describe what your day is like/what you do: I work as a charge nurse on an inpatient behavioral health unit. I am responsible for the operations on the floor during my shift, as well as maintaining my own patient load. I oversee the care of all the patients on the unit to ensure they are receiving individualized, quality treatment with the interventions necessary to meet their needs. On our unit, we care for adult patients ranging 18 years and older. We treat a multitude of mental health diagnoses, including depression and anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and drug and alcohol abuse issues. As a psychiatric RN, I aid in the stabilization of patients in an acute crisis state and collaborate with a multidisciplinary team to further connect our patients with resources in the community.

Health Care Hero: ‘I became a nurse to make a difference’

What inspired you to get into health care? I was inspired to get into health care for many reasons, but the main reason was because I wanted to help people. When people are ill, they face many challenges. This can be extremely stressful, frightening and even lonely. I wanted to become a person who could help lessen that burden for people. As a nurse, I am able to assist people on their journey toward healing.

What’s a memorable experience you’ve had in health care ? The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely been a memorable experience for me in health care. It has been important to social distance and limit interactions to prevent the virus from spreading; however, I have also seen first-hand the effects such isolation has on the mental health of a person. It has also been very challenging for medical staff to cope. In order to help alleviate the feelings of aloneness and uncertainty, the behavioral health staff at my hospital have been hosting virtual support groups three times a week, open to all employees of the hospital. Our psychiatrist also shares a weekly message for all employees, based on their feedback and questions posted. So far, topics have included family wellness during the pandemic, healthy sleeping, coping skills, self-care, etc. This pandemic has stirred up many emotions in all of us, but it’s empowering to see the coming together of everyone in order to meet our needs as a whole. We are truly in this together.

Health Care Hero: ‘I really love my job’

What do you want readers to know about your job right now: The biggest thing I would like readers to know is that mental health affects all of us, and it is OK to ask for help. Our medical and emotional wellness are intertwined and if one is not cared for, the other will soon falter. As a psychiatric RN, I take pride in caring for the whole person, treating both medical and mental conditions simultaneously. It is important that we continue to educate people on the reality of mental health and advocate for more resources in the community. For all of us, support is the foundation for success.

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