Jessica Jewett participated in the StaRN Nurse Residency Program and started as an RN on the Medical-Surgery floor this March.
As a young girl growing up in Peru, Jessica Jewett knew she wanted to build a career on caring for others.
"I was just always taking care of people, in my family, my neighbors--it was really my passion," she says.
A career aptitude test she took after graduating from high school solidified that intention, suggesting that work as a nurse, doctor or psychologist would best suit her.
Jewett graduated from nursing school in Peru, and was performing her clinicals and internship when she moved to the United States. As she learned the language and customs of a new country and worked as a waitress, she never lost her caretaker instincts.
"I participated in a monthly health campaign at my church, and a friend of mine who knew I had been a nurse in Peru said, 'You should become a nurse assistant,'" she said.
This path got Jewett back to working in hospitals, and she began the process of compiling her transcripts and taking classes to improve her English and her knowledge of medical terminology so that she could pursue certification as a registered nurse.
It was during this work that Jewett came to work at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center as a nurse's assistant and patient care technician.
Jewett was accepted into the hospital's StaRN nurse residency program, which provides education, support and guidance to graduate nurses transitioning into the workplace.
Jewett was certified as a registered nurse in November 2018, and began working as an RN on the Medical-Surgery floor this March.
She considers her colleagues at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center to be like a family.
Medical-Surgery nurses care for adult patients in a wide variety of situations. Patients may be acutely ill with a medical problem or disease, or they may be recovering from surgery.
The work is busy, and keeps nurses on their toes with diverse and ever-changing problems to solve for their patients.
Jewett thinks the key to the unit's success at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center is the entire team's commitment to help each other.
"We treat every single patient as if they are our patient," she says.
Communication is also key to the job. That starts with talking to patients in the morning to make a plan for their day, so that they know what to expect, and getting to know the patient so that nurses can communicate any key pieces of information to doctors to help with their care.
"They feel a connection, they feel like you care, and they are happier," Jewett says.
Jewett spends most of her off-hours with her husband and three children. She likes to visit Lake Anna State Park with her family and two dogs, and enjoys that the Fredericksburg area is a small town with rural areas located within a day's drive of bigger cities like Washington, D.C., and Richmond.
She also appreciates the opportunities that Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center has given her to learn and grow in her career. As she looks toward the future, she'd like to consider pursuing a master's degree. She knows that in nursing, she's found her calling.
"This is what I love to do."