Spotlight on David Laumeyer, intensive care unit nurse at Candler Hospital
David Laumeyer, RN
Staff Nurse, ICU at Candler Hospital
Education: Technical College of the Lowcountry in Beaufort
Currently getting Bachelor’s Degree at Walden University
SJ/C: Why did you decide to become a nurse?
David: It’s funny because if you would have asked me five years ago, nursing would not have been on my list of career choices. I was active duty in the military as a flight medic. I was enjoying that but I wanted a good family life and I got hurt overseas so that influenced why I wanted to get out. When I got out, I was looking for ways where I could still do healthcare because I enjoyed it but at the same time where I could get back on a helicopter. Paramedic or nursing were the ways to go and I chose nursing. The first semester of school, I thought, ‘This is not for me,’ but as I went on and took my first job before I came here, I realized this is definitely the field I need to be in. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made to stop a full-time, good paying job to go back to school to pick up a new profession.
SJ/C: Why did you choose St. Joseph’s/Candler?
David: I started at another hospital not in ICU, and I knew in my heart I belonged in the ICU. I looked at their ICU and then I applied on a whim over here. When I learned St. Joseph’s/Candler was a Magnet facility that drew my interest even more. I came over here and did a four-hour shadow session with one of the nurses and instantly knew this is where I belonged. Being faith based has a lot of advantages. You come across patients that are and are not faith based, but in the intensive care unit where you are faced with death, a lot of people rely on some kind of faith and being able to share that experience with them and not having to worry about repercussions from administration is nice.
SJ/C: What do you love about being a nurse here?
David: What I love the most is the teamwork and sense of family. My daughter had surgery here, and there were people from the unit coming to check on her. It was an outpatient procedure, but just that sense of family and people checking on you. That sense of family that we can still have fun but be serious at the same time and sometimes that’s hard in the ICU.
SJ/C: Why did you want to be a nurse on the intensive care unit?
David: As a nurse everybody tends to find their niche in a specific area. I did a lot of trauma medicine when I was deployed. Being here as a nurse, you have a lot more autonomy. I actually have to use my brain, and it’s encouraged me to do further research on how to have better outcomes. Working in the ICU, it can be challenging, which is one of the reasons I wanted to come to the ICU, but it can also be very rewarding. One of the most rewarding times was when I met a new patient’s family a few hours before shift change. The next morning the patient passed away around 10 a.m. but the first thing a family member did was hug me and start crying when they realized their loved one had passed. That was probably the most rewarding thing to happen to me in my career that somebody I didn’t know 24 hours prior felt comfortable enough to confide in me.
SJ/C: What does it mean to you be a nurse at a Magnet facility?
David: I take great pride in that. Being part of a Magnet facility is such an advantage that I think a lot of nurses who haven’t been elsewhere don’t realize until they leave. For us working on our fifth designation now, that’s very impressive. When I go out, I want to be a direct reflection of what our values are as a hospital. Especially being rooted in God’s love, if we are out there and wearing our uniforms and people see us doing something nasty, that’s not good.
SJ/C: What advice would you have to new nurses or those considering a career in nursing?
David: Throw your ego out the door and be willing to take constructive criticism. You’re not expected to know everything. Always be there to help and raise your hands and get as much out of it as you can, especially during orientation. Also, to always have a positive attitude because a huge thing is when you are overwhelmed the patient can see that. Whatever is going on at home or elsewhere, when you are in these doors, you are here for the patients and that’s our ultimate goal in nursing is to be the advocate for them. You can’t be the advocate for them if we’re worrying ourselves with other things.
Family: Wife, 18-month old daughter and three fur babies
Achievements: DAISY Award winner; nursing student of the year
Hobbies/Interest: Spending time with family and building furniture