They are the people who treat those in dire need, in times of emergencies, stabilizing them and saving lives. They are emergency room nurses, and the nurses of the Meadville Medical Center Emergency Department are this week's Hometown Heroes.

“Generally that's their niche. It is a calling,” nurse manager Mary Worley said. “It takes a special kind of person.”

Taking care of patients in their acute phase, stabilizing patients to be flown to larger facilities, working to decrease anxiety, increase trust and being prepared for anything are just some aspects of this vital job that Worley said these nurses handle.

In their own words, here is how some of the MMC nurses describe their job and what motivates them to do it.

"I chose working at Meadville Medical Center’s Emergency Department because it is the most team work/family oriented group to work with. I have worked in different places and this is by far my best experience. The Emergency Department is the front door to the hospital. We see all sorts of illnesses. We aren’t just there to comfort the patient and make them feel better, we are also there to comfort the family. We are a family. I do this because it is my passion to help others and our community." — Lucy Hynes, RN

"I love my co-workers. We are all just a big family. We have each other’s backs, no matter what." — Brittany Polley, RN

"I love being a nurse in the Emergency Department because I really feel like I am helping people, especially during the times they are really sick and scared. Knowing I have made a difference in their lives and being able to care for them during those scary times is really meaningful to me." — Makayla Heisey, RN

"I became a nurse because of my love for caring for others and making a difference in the lives of others. As an Emergency Nurse, we have to be quick on our toes and ready for anything that presents itself. We shed tears with patients and families, although we may not personally know them, a loss is never easy for us. We endure the sorrow from a loss of life to the abusive patient and then must quickly move on to the next patient with a smile on our face. I enjoy the Emergency Department because every day is different." — Missy Wickert, RN

"What I want the community to know about my job is that we work long shifts, but we love our job. I feel I am making a difference in my community. It takes a lot of strength, knowledge, confidence, integrity, and compassion to do this job. I don't just like working in the emergency department, I love it! I love the fast paced environment. I love the mystery of not knowing my patients' diagnosis and getting to work with the doctors to figure it out. I love seeing the appreciation in my patients' eyes when they feel so much better. I love being that hand to hold during a procedure to let them know someone is there for them. I love being that advocate when the patient cannot fight for themselves." — Brittany Dell, RN

"We as the nurses in the community are here for the people and hope that we can help everyone no matter what they come to us for. I love my job, and working in the ER has been the great experience I have ever been blessed with. Helping others." — Ida Morrison, LPN

"I would like the community to know that we are here for them 24 hours/seven days a week. I would like them to understand that people are seen by severity of illness or injury not first come first serve. Our job here is stressful and demanding, but we all want to safely and securely take care of our patients. I have been a nurse for over 20 years and have always worked in the ER (at different hospitals). I love the pace of the ER, not knowing what is coming through the door. I continue to learn something new every day. I love the teamwork and our crew. I love helping people during a crisis in their lives, helping them feel better. I love our team here. We are family. Sometimes I see them more than my own family." — Pat Taylor, RN

"I love that we are more than coworkers, we are family. I am also a flight nurse for STAT MedEvac, so I go into nearly every hospital in western Pennsylvania and New York to pick up the sickest patients and I'm here to tell you that Meadville Medical Center's ED physicians are top notch and this community is lucky to have them and their skills. We have our fair share of busy days, and teamwork is the only thing that saves each other and saves lives. Everyone here has a great sense of 'all hands on deck' when a patient is experiencing a medical emergency. This includes help from many other departments and Meadville ambulance, who often stays and helps. I love it here. I can't imagine working anywhere else." — Dana Oster, RN

To nominate a Hometown Hero, send a brief couple sentences why that person is deserving to with “Hometown Hero” in the subject line.

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