You can take the cowboy out of Texas, but you can’t take the cowboy out of this nurse!
Brad Law started his professional life on cattle feedlots, roping and riding horses. It seems like a long way from there to where he is today – emergency department (ED) and inpatient nurse manager at Indiana University Health Frankfort Hospital.
Law credits his mother-in-law with steering him toward the field of nursing, along with his experience working in a nursing home during his college years. Most of all though, it was his love of people and their stories that ultimately pushed him to make a mid-life career switch.
“I've always been a people person,” he said. “I don't like speaking in front of a lot of people, but I can have a conversation with anyone. I didn't know if I would like nursing as much as I did my previous profession, but once I got here, I found that I love taking care of people.”
As a manager in the emergency department, Law spends most of his days caring for patients and supervising fellow nurses. He starts his rounds early, checking on the shift nurses, and jumping in to help out wherever needed, whether that’s starting an IV or just talking with a nervous patient.
Having conversations, for Law, is just another form of care — care he administers to all his patients to help them heal. He recalled sitting with a patient struggling with substance use. For more than 30 minutes, they talked about the man’s challenges. Months later, Law ran into the patient during a shopping trip, and was pleased to learn the patient was in recovery and sober. "Talking helped get him to that path," said Law."
For this cowboy-turned-nurse, people have always been at the heart of what he does. During the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, he worked to help his nurses cope with the influx of patients and the difficulty of managing a heavier load. “It was harder on a lot of people,” he said. “But I think that you just have to keep looking forward.”
When it got too rough, his teammates were able to take advantage of the philanthropy-funded tranquility spaces, supported in part by IU Health Foundation, for a brief respite from long shifts and overwhelming circumstances. These spaces provided a place for team members to step away from their work and rest, to rejuvenate and care for themselves in ways that gave them the strength, energy and focus they needed to continue caring for patients. And of course, Law was with them every step of the way — and was there to talk whenever they needed a listening ear.
This Nurses Week, Law is ready for more talking and listening, starting with saying thank you. “I don't think I say that enough. So thank you, and I appreciate the support for what nurses do every day.”
To support IU Health Frankfort Hospital nurses like Law, consider a gift to the hospital’s Area of Greatest Need Fund.