Amanda Peachey, a registered nurse at WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital, is connecting to her patients that are military veterans by using her experience as a Corpsman in the United States Navy.
Amanda comes across veteran patients every day and is able to provide high quality and compassionate care by giving them someone to connect with during an emotional time in their life.
“I have something to converse with them about and a mutual respect is developed right away,” Peachey said. “It excites the patient and gives them someone to relate to during their time of need.”
Amanda worked four years as a corpsman, or medic, before beginning her career as a civilian nurse. Stationed at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, she spent one year as a Labor & Delivery Nurse, before moving to the Intensive Care Unit on base for the other three years of her service.
“One of the hardest things was caring for active military that were dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) when coming back from deployments,” Peachey explained.
Amanda joined the United States Navy directly out of high school, inspired by the service of some of her family members. However, becoming a nurse was never in her plan, and ironically she used to be afraid of needles. But when she took the military entrance exam, the recruiter said she was a perfect fit for a medic.
After she completed her service, the military supported her financially through nursing school.
“I didn’t realize how much the navy would benefit me in my life,” Peachey said. “It (paying for school) set me up for a career – so that benefit to me is worth everything.”
Although the structure that a hospital system and the military provide are similar, Amanda said the biggest difference between her two experiences is that her training in the military was mostly skill-driven, while her time at WellSpan has involved learning in greater depths the “why” behind nursing. Together, both lessons have come together to complete her training.
“The nurses as WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital are really connected to each other and there is a lot of comradery,” Amanda said. “And that’s how it was in the military too.”
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