Spotlight on St. Joseph's/Candler nurse Shandresa Moore

Shandresa Moore, BSN, RN
St. Joseph’s Hospital ED nurse, previously in Wound Care & Hyperbarics at Candler Hospital

Nursing at St. Joseph’s/Candler: 18 years (14 in Wound Care)

SJ/C: Why did you decide to become a nurse? Shandresa Moore, St. Joseph's/Candler nurse

Shandresa: I am the oldest of eight, and there was an age difference between all of us. I was a motherly figure, and I took care of everything and everybody, so I became a caretaker at a very young age. I had an aunt that was very sick, so I also helped take care of her and my younger siblings as well. I think that’s what made me want to be a caregiver. I remember being a little girl, and I’d watch medical shows. I wanted to be a doctor at first but I changed my mind. As a nurse, we get to do more communication with the patient. We advocate for them. I like getting to know people. I think that’s why I wanted to be a nurse – to take care of people.

SJ/C: Why did you choose St. Joseph’s/Candler?

Shandresa: I moved here in 2004 from a small town and when I was looking for a position, I saw that St. Joseph’s/Candler had openings so I applied. I had three interviews – two at St. Joseph’s and one here at Candler. I chose St. Joseph’s. I call that my home because that’s where I started. So that’s why I chose St. Joseph’s/Candler first, but then I learned our mission behind St. Joseph’s/Candler. “Rooted in God’s love” – I love that.

SJ/C: What do you love about being a nurse here?

Shandresa: It’s like a family here. Even if you move to another area, we become a family. I think it’s because we work so close with each other. Sometimes we may leave from our initial family to another unit family, but when we come back, they accept us with open arms. Just like me returning to St. Joseph’s; some of the people when I started in ’04 are still there. It’s like when I see them, they remember me, and I remember them. I like the fact that everyone welcomes you with open arms.

SJ/C: You spent 14 years in wound care. What is it like working there?

Shandresa: My responsibility starts from the front door and it ends back at the front door. My responsibilities are making sure we see patients and provide advanced therapy to those patients who have wounds because they are coming to a specialist, and they expect everyone to know what’s going on. When they come in here, customer service is top priority. If we take care of the patient, I feel like we are meeting our goal.

We don’t just treat them for wound care. We treat them for everything. We are holistic. If a patient is having a bad day and has a wound, they are not going to be as in tune to take care of themselves, especially when they are going through something else. So you have to address different issues with the patient and that’s what we do at the wound care clinic. We try to treat them holistically; get them to the right people so their needs can be met.

Then, of course, we provide optimal therapy – cleansing their wounds, measuring and taking pictures of their wounds and try to curb as much pain as we can by applying topical anesthetics. Our mission is to get them back to functioning as best as we can without them continuing on with a hole in their leg or a hole in the chest. We’re trying to get them back to optimal wellbeing. We provide counseling. We provide education. We provide advanced therapy.

SJ/C: You’ve decided to continue your nursing education to become a certified nurse practitioner. Why is that important to you?

Shandresa: The reason why I want to continue my education, one, is from the time I became a nurse, I’ve always had a goal to become a nurse practitioner. Not to make more money or anything like that. Just to see if I was in a frame of mind to accomplish what I initially started. Two, it is going to allow me to be an even better advocate for patients and help me teach and help others that are in the profession. I want to do wound care, but if not, it’s OK, but I’d like to advance the profession. I just want to help more. Even as a nurse practitioner, you have some restrictions, but you do have some input into the care of the patient alongside the physician.

SJ/C: What does it mean to you to be a Magnet nurse, especially coming off our fifth designation?

Shandresa: I was at another facility doing something, and I had on a sweater with the Magnet logo on it. When people there saw that, they were like, ‘You work at a Magnet hospital?’ I was like, (answering proudly) ‘Yes. I do.’ Just to know that as a Magnet facility that designates us in saying we provide the highest quality of care to our patients. It makes me excited just to be a part of a Magnet hospital that provides that kind of care.

SJ/C: What advice would you offer to new nurses or those considering a career in nursing?

Shandresa: Don’t give up. It does not matter how fast you run the race as long as you finish. You’re going to have many obstacles in the nursing profession. Even nursing students that are on a waiting list to get into a program, don’t give up. When you do get into the program and things start to get hard, don’t give up. Just keep praying and ask God to give you strength to get through it, and He will give you that strength.

I tell this to a lot of people that I meet: it doesn’t matter how fast we run the race. I’m almost 50, and it doesn’t matter how fast I ran my race, as long as I finish it. Who says it has to be a sprint? Just don’t give up; don’t lose sight of what it is you want to do because I will tell you, if you do that, you will always wonder, ‘What if?’ Nursing is very rewarding. I can’t think of another career that I would like that is going to give me the same feeling that I get when I come to work every day and take care of patients. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do.

Married with two kids and two grandchildren
Hobbies/Interests:  Reading, relaxing, crocheting, dancing and spending time with my family


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