The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Q5: Answering the call

  • Tammy Warren has made a career of her true calling — helping care for others as a nurse. Her path to nursing, and stories of her experiences treating patients is featured in a new book, "The Call of Nursing."
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  • Tammy Warren has made a career of her true calling — helping care for others as a nurse. Her path to nursing, and stories of her experiences treating patients is featured in a new book, "The Call of Nursing."
    In this Q5, Warren, who is stationed at Fort Leavenworth, elaborates on nursing and health care, topics relevant given today marks the beginning of National Nurse's Week.
    1. Tammy, what drew you to nursing, and do you consider it your true calling?
    "I believe that God had plans for me that I was not fully aware of. Who really knows what they are to be at 18 years old? God first introduced me to nursing as a female medic.
    “It was there on a female surgical inpatient ward at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, that the idea that I could possibly be a nurse came to be.
    "I believe my first calling was to serve my country.
    “I was just blessed that He placed me in a position to provide care to our active military, veterans and their families."
    2. How would you describe your experiences working in Army medical centers, including Munson Army Health Center at Fort Leavenworth?
    "I have had the fortune to work in a variety of health care centers, from Brooke Army Medical Center in the 1980s to Madigan Army Medical Center in the 1990s, and then at the new Brooke Army Medical Center in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
    “I have also worked in Germany at the 98th General Hospital in the late 1980s and then with the 168th Medical Battalion in Taegu, Korea, in 2003.
    "I have been blessed to have much variety and much experience in both inpatient and outpatient healthcare.
    “I have been at Munson since I retired in 2004.
    “I have had many amazing experiences with the beneficiaries here at Munson.
    "One that comes to mind is when I received a call from a CSM who was deployed asking me to check in on his wife because she was home sick with the flu, but could not make it into the clinic for an appointment because she had two special-needs children at home to care for.
    “How could I not do everything in my power to help this family when both were serving our country in the only way they could?
    “I feel so blessed that I was able to take that call that day.
    “I am thankful that he trusted me enough to call and know that I would help them."
    3. As National Nurse's Week begins May 6-12, what do you think are the most underestimated strengths and traits nurses possess that people outside health care may not fully appreciate?
    Page 2 of 2 - "Most nurses give of themselves selflessly because they have chosen this profession of service.
    “Others outside of the health care field may not understand that we are emotionally connected with our patients, we are invested in their wellbeing.
    “Our strength is the compassion from which we deliver health care."
    4. How did your story end up being chosen by author Bill Patrick for the new book, "The Call of Nursing: Stories from the Front Lines of Health Care?"
    "I am not sure. Mr. Patrick is a very gracious and kind person. We simply chatted about my experiences in the Army and my journey to become a nurse.
    "He is a gifted listener and writer. To be completely honest, I was totally surprised when I found out that he had selected me. I am humbled by the opportunity to share my journey of becoming a nurse."
    5. What are the most difficult parts of being a nurse and what are the most rewarding aspects of being a health care professional?
    "I would say that for most folks in the medical profession the most difficult part is when we can longer care for the patients we have connected with, whether it be due to a PCS move or due to death.
    "The rewarding part is that their memory lives on with us throughout our daily lives as we meet new patients and establish new relationships.
    “Ultimately, we are called to serve.
    “What better way to serve, as we remember those we have cared for as we care for others."
    — Rimsie McConiga
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