Bennett fulfills her calling to nursing

As she grew up in Loachapoka, Patricia Bennett saw the effect working in the medical field had on her mother’s life, which instilled a desire in her to work in the medical field.

Bennett’s mother spent 35 years as a certified nursing student.

“It’s something that I’ve always been around,” Bennett said. “She did home health, and I always saw her go to different homes. It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do.”

Bennett’s entry into the medical field didn’t start as she planned.

She started by enrolling in Auburn University where she started in the Pre-med track. She decided to transfer to Auburn University in Montgomery a year later and started to take the prerequisites for nursing school.

She made the decision to switch majors because of the ability of a nurse to help a patient throughout an entire hospital stay.

“I love bedside nursing,” Bennett said. “It’s been a reward seeing them come in, when they’re not doing so well, and then seeing them leave. That’s what it’s all been about.”

While she was at AUM, Bennett became pregnant and transferred to Southern Union, which is closer to her home of Loachapoka.

“It was closer to home and I had my first child when I was so young,” Bennett said. “I didn’t want to be traveling back to Montgomery. I wanted to stay local with my family and Southern Union was just right down the road. It was very easy for me to get to, drop off my baby and get to school.”

She graduated with her licensed practical nurse degree in 2013 and reenrolled to get her registered nurse degree two years later.

While she was attending Southern Union, she began her nursing career with EAMC-Lanier as a tech in the ICU.

After graduating from Southern Union in 2015, she went back to AUM to get her bachelor of science in nursing.

“It’s not the average nursing journey,” Bennett said.

In February of 2019, Bennett came back to EAMC-Lanier after graduating from AUM. She wanted to come back after graduation because the small town and family feel the hospital.

“It’s very family-oriented, and I like that part of it,” Bennett said. “I have three kids now, and they work with me with my schedule. They’re more understanding. Its’ been the right fit.”

That family feel that Bennett feels from EAMC-Lanier is based from her coworkers.

“We’re a great team,” Bennett said. “Everyone works so well together. We get things done, and it’s all for the benefit of the patient. It’s awesome.”

Bennett works the night shift in the medical surgery department at EAMC-Lanier. In her position at third-floor north, she is able to interact with all sorts of patients, which is her favorite part.

“You have a variety of patients, and that’s what I like about it,” Bennett said. “It’s broader, and you encounter different types of patients. I love people, I love being around people and I get a more general broad area of nursing.”

Bennett has felt called to help people from a young age and getting to help people every day is her favorite part of the job.

“Being in service of other people and providing passionate care is very easy for me to do for others,” Bennett said.

Bennett’s drive to help people has become more immense due to COVID-19. Hospitals around the world have been swamped since the disease entered their area, and EAMC-Lanier isn’t any different.

The hardest part about the outbreak for Bennett has been seeing people not get better before they are transferred out.

“It’s been rough because what I like to see is [the patients] getting better, but it doesn’t always work like that. This is the hardest thing I’ve done in nursing,” she said.