We are always proud to share the inspiring stories of our GIFTED nurses, and today we are featuring Keith Streeter, RN in our GIFTED Spotlight series.
Keith is currently working as a critical care nurse in Broussard, Louisiana on his first contract with GIFTED after 27 years as a nurse. Read on to hear about what motivates Keith in this field and how he got to where he is today.
Keith comes from a long line of family members in the military including his grandfather who served in the Marine Corps and his father who served in the Navy. The military life has always resonated with Keith, and he pictured going down that path for some time. He wanted to go to the military to serve and protect the country, but also to help people that are unable to help themselves from either illness or injury.
Once Keith learned about nurses in the military, he found a caveat that allowed him to both serve his country and help the injured and ill. At 20-years old, Keith went through Combat Medic School, then LPN school at the Army’s Academy of Allied Health Sciences at Fort Sam Houston, Texas before being placed at William Beaumont Hospital in El Paso, Texas for training.
As a military nurse, he was able to help the wounded and critically ill on humanitarian and joint task force missions and couldn’t imagine doing anything else except helping those during a time of severe need.
“Going the military route afforded me the ability to be put through a vocational nursing school, start my career in nursing, and serve in the military while helping people at the same time, so it seemed like a no-brainer to me,” said Keith.
Keith went on to complete his bachelor’s degree in 2005 at Southern University School of Nursing in Baton Rouge and became an RN, and in 2013, Keith became board certified in critical care.
Inside the Critical Care Unit
Today, Keith works in a Critical Care unit in Louisiana and is continuously amazed at the care his unit is able to provide to patients, often saving their lives. The Critical Care Unit challenges Keith’s problem-solving skills and he is grateful for the challenge.
Each patient’s care plan is different. Nurses never know how patients will respond to certain therapies provided and a patient’s condition could be augmented with just a few small clinical decisions. Keith loves the complexity of finding individual solutions to generate positive patient outcomes.
Within Keith’s memory, one patient stands out, and the story is a reminder of why he works so hard to bring the best care and treatment to all patients.
“There is one patient I recall that came in after going into cardiac arrest and passing out on his front yard,” said Keith. “He had a massive blockage in his left main carotid artery and needed to be resuscitated. We were able to go in to remove the clot and restore blood flow but then had to work quickly to cool his body down.”
“What amazed me, is he suffered through all of that and woke up completely cognitively intact. He walked right out of the hospital, refusing to leave in a wheelchair, and that moment makes everything worth it. To be a part of that really warmed my heart.”
Keith has used his patients’ stories as reminders of why everything he does matters. He brings a kind spirit to each patient’s bedside, and it shows, as one patient recently submitted this Spirit Gram to thank Keith for his amazing care.
“Keith has a spirit of excellence, and he takes pride in all tasks and job duties that are performed. He’s also knowledgeable and courteous.”
Keith often asks himself throughout his shifts, “the work you are doing, what is the message it is sending? What are you trying to accomplish?” Then, he reminds himself that what matters most is taking care of those that cannot look out for themselves.
The Ideal Nurse
We asked Keith for his opinion on the ideal qualities of a nurse, and he had a heart-warming response.
“Love for humankind and capacity to be your patient’s advocate. You have to have that. That is what we are there for. We are in a caregiver role, and we have to be honest with ourselves, our colleagues, our patients and challenge each other to do the best job we can.”
“Someday in my life, I will be the patient. It happens to everybody at some point, and so it truly is important to me to fight for my patients and look out for them because I would want the same done for me or one of my loved ones.”
“We touch people’s lives in such an important way, even by just doing the little things.”
This is Keith’s first contract with GIFTED Healthcare, and his flexible schedule provides him with the opportunity to spend more time with his children. He plans to keep working with GIFTED as he continues his nursing career.
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