Taking Care of Others, Taking Care of a Community

When it comes to nursing, no matter how much schooling or training you have, the most important thing to know is that it's about taking care of others.

For Kierra Gray, RN, it was a caring grandmother who showed her what that means, motivating her to follow her dreams into the medical field.

"Going into nursing mattered to me because my grandmother took care of me all of my life and then when she needed help I felt like someone needed to be there for her to make sure that she was as healthy as she could be and taken care of the way she should," Gray said.

Today, as a Registered Nurse at Riverside Tappahannock Hospital, Gray said she enjoys working in the acute, hospital setting "because I like taking care of people and I like seeing positive outcomes with them."

She particularly enjoys working for Riverside "because I feel like everyone in our unit as well as other units work really well together. We are a small hospital, so we don't have a large number of staff. But we know that the staff that we do have are the ones who have our back."

The same goes for the patients –the entire medical team has their back.

To all patients, "l like to give them compassion and be able to talk to them. More than just about why they are in the hospital."

But really get to know them, like they are family.

Working and living in a small town means Gray either knows personally a lot of the patients who come in or knows she'll run into them again and "it gives me a lot of satisfaction knowing that I've taken care of someone that I know and helped them overcome their illness."