Spotlight on St. Joseph's Hospital Nurse Ashley Kyle
Ashley Kyle, BSN, RN
Fifth floor at St. Joseph’s Hospital
Education: Georgia Southern University, 2019 graduate
SJ/C: Why did you decide to become a nurse?
Ashley: I have a lot of family members who are nurses, including my mom. I always thought I wanted to do something in the medical field, just not sure if I wanted to be a nurse or a doctor. When I was a sophomore in college, before I applied to nursing school, my dad got sick with cancer. He ended up passing with hospice in our house. I saw my mom take care of him; my aunt was a nurse as well and she was there taking care of him. I saw how comfortable he was, and that process made me realize I really wanted to be a nurse, to comfort others and be more hands on with patients.
SJ/C: Why did you choose St. Joseph’s/Candler?
Ashley: I did clinicals here actually. My last semester, I was mainly in ICU and emergency; however, there was a hurricane that year, and I had to make up time. They put me on the fifth floor. I was with a couple of nurses there that really took me under their wings. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the patients. I applied when it was time to, and I got the job. 0
SJ/C: What do you love about being a nurse?
Ashley: I really enjoy the helping people aspect of it, but also interacting with the families and being the advocate for the patient. If something goes wrong and the doctor doesn’t know, I can be the person that says, ‘I think this is the best thing for the patient.’
SJ/C: What types of patients do you treat on the fifth floor at SJH?
Ashley: Med-Surg is everybody. We get surgery patients and also patients from the emergency room that need to be here for a couple of days. Half of our floor is currently for COVID patients so we take care of COVID patients as well. I always say that a new nurse should start out on a med-surg floor because you see the most there; everything comes through the med-surg floor.
SJ/C: Would you say that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed nursing?
Ashley: I definitely think it’s changed it a lot, especially in the aspect where the family members aren’t able to come in and see the COVID patients. You are the one holding their hands if they are on hospice and passing away. You’re the person who’s giving all the updates to the family because the doctors can’t constantly give updates because they have other patients. I feel that we are having to reassure our patients more because their family isn’t there to hold their hand. So you are having to do all that. You’re their nurse; you’re their family member; you’re the person holding their hand and reassuring them. It’s a lot more than just the medical aspect of the job.
I couldn’t have imagined this in my wildest dream, in my first year of nursing. It’s definitely been a lot more challenging trying to learn the medical aspects of COVID because everything is constantly changing.
SJ/C: How have nurses and other co-workers come together to help everyone get through this challenging time?
Ashley: All of our staff, especially the RNs and patient care technicians, are constantly supporting each other. Even if it’s not your patient, if they are not doing well, everybody goes in there and helps with them. The charge nurses are really, really great and willing to do anything we need. If we don’t know the answer to the question, there’s always someone there to answer it. I really feel like it’s important for you to have such a good relationship with everybody so they can support you.
SJ/C: What advice would you offer to those considering a career in nursing or a brand new nurse?
Ashley: I would definitely say be open minded because I did not expect to go through a pandemic. Always ask questions; there’s no such thing as a dumb question. I am constantly asking my charge nurse 30 questions a day because you don’t know every answer coming out of nursing school. You learn so much in your first year of nursing. The best piece of advice I can offer is ask all the questions you can ask, even if you feel like it’s silly or if you think you know the answer, because sometimes you need reassurance talking it through with somebody.
Family: Married to Josh; mom (and role model) Suzanne
Hobbies/Interest: Traveling (when it’s not a pandemic), horses and horseback riding