Thrive by IU Health

June 02, 2021

For this student nurse, COVID unit has helped her grow

IU Health Methodist Hospital

For this student nurse, COVID unit has helped her grow

PCA Kate Davenport: “It’s so important to meet people where they are and offer support, to treat them like people, not patients.”

By Maureen Gilmer, IU Health senior journalist, mgilmer1@iuhealth.org

Elizabeth “Kate” Davenport has plenty to learn about being a nurse, but the PCA at IU Health Methodist Hospital knows all about patient care. It comes straight from the heart.

Recently, Davenport, a nursing student at Ivy Tech Community College, and some of her colleagues on 6N rallied behind a young patient who was preparing to leave the hospital after a lengthy stay. They wanted to help her find her footing when she was discharged.

It’s a small thing, but it illustrates beautifully the IU Health value of compassion. And that is something that comes naturally to Davenport.

“Every facet of patient care is important,” she said. “The medical intervention is extremely important, and the bedside care is also very important. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve given a patient a bath and it makes their whole day.”

Elizabeth "Kate" Davenport working at IU Health Methodist Hospital

But she goes further.

“Many times in the past few months we’ve had patients who go through a rough moment. You can just tell that’s not who they are, that’s not how they are. We can all relate,” she said.

“But in those low moments, it’s so important to meet people where they are and offer support, to treat them like people, not patients.”

Davenport joined the support staff at Methodist in May, barely three months into the COVID-19 outbreak. She acknowledges feeling intimidated when she found out she was being assigned to the advanced pulmonary unit, which had transitioned to a COVID floor, but she believes the experience has been good for her.

Because she is fluent in Spanish, she has been able to step in to translate for Hispanic patients and calm their fears.

Especially during COVID, she said, “It makes a difference to have someone sitting next to you and listening to what you’re feeling in that moment and encouraging you. I feel like I get so much out of the care I’m able to give people there. It’s such a fulfilling job.”

Asked if she had any qualms about her choice of a career amid a pandemic, she doubled down on nursing.

“It’s definitely an interesting time to get going in healthcare,” she said. “I don’t know if I’m a crazy person, but it’s an opportunity to see what’s actually happening and help instead of sitting on the sidelines and reading about it.”

Davenport, who expects to graduate from nursing school in December 2021, hopes to find a job right back on 6 North as a registered nurse.

“I love 6 North. I feel like Leonardo DiCaprio in ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ when he says, ‘I’m not leaving.’”

She delivers that line with a laugh, but the passion is there.

“We have so much good stuff going on, and everybody has the same goal – superior patient care and superior teamwork.”

Photos by Mike Dickbernd, IU Health visual journalist, mdickbernd@iuhealth.org

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