Nurses’ Week: Barbara Britt - Expanded Capabilities
Throughout National Nurses’ Week, Lake Regional Health System and the Lake Sun will celebrate the nursing profession with profiles of exceptional nurses working at the health system.
Nursing is a tough job, and the COVID-19 pandemic has created additional challenges, but that has not stopped Barbara Britt, R.N., from connecting with her patients at Lake Regional Clinic – Lebanon.
“The pandemic has placed a stress on health care, and we had to shift some ways we did business,” Britt said. “What hasn’t changed is that we still provide quality, compassionate care to our patients. Still, I am looking forward to being able to hug patients again.”
Britt chose the nursing profession almost 30 years ago because she wanted to help people in need and felt her friendly personality would put them at ease. Helping patients progress and learn more about their health is what keeps her motivated.
“Our patients come to us with a variety of symptoms and illnesses, so active listening is important,” Britt said. “We develop a treatment regimen to help patients feel better and have a better quality of life. It is a wonderful feeling to know a patient feels better because of the treatment and education we provided.”
For example, she said, one recent patient was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
“We provided education on diet and lifestyle changes, as well as medication,” Britt said. “At the patient’s three-month visit, she was feeling so much better because she felt in control of her diabetes.”
Problem-solving, adaptability and willingness to learn are just a few of the qualities Britt has used throughout her nursing career. Even before the pandemic, she was used to health care evolving to meet the needs of patients. She has seen new cures and treatments to help manage disease, as well as technology changes.
“When I started in nursing in 1993, there was no cure for hepatitis C or reliable treatment for HIV,” Britt said. “It amazes me how these diseases are no longer considered terminal. There has also been a lot of progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.”
Electronic medical records (EMRs) are one advance that many people take for granted, she said.
“EMRs allow me to provide efficient and safe care to my patients because I have easier access to patient information,” Britt said. “I can view inpatient and outpatient records, which means there is a better reconciliation of medications and diagnoses’ for patients, and there are no lost charts or looking in different departments for paper charts.”
To best serve patients and their communities, health care systems are always looking for ways to develop and grow. One expansion Britt is looking forward to is the new Lake Regional campus in Lebanon.
“I have worked in Lebanon for 24 years, and I see the need for expanding services here,” Britt said. “I can tell that my colleagues are invested in the community, which is exactly what Lebanon deserves. I am excited for a bigger building and the ability to offer additional services.”
Lake Regional Health System will open a new Lebanon campus in 2022. This campus, located at 755 Cowan Drive, near I-44 Exit 130, will include all of the services Lake Regional currently provides in Lebanon, as well as a few additions. To learn more, visit lakeregional.com/Lebanon.