Celebrating Black History Month – Whitney Sutton, RN
Whitney Sutton is a registered nurse and manages our ICU. She has been a leader during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whitney is from Lucedale, Mississippi, and joined Memorial in 2010.
“As a nurse manager, I get to directly affect the culture, policies/procedures, and standard of care set between our patients and staff. I also get the esteemed pleasure of supporting and managing a smart, caring, and passionate ICU staff that takes pride in what they do.”
No two days are the same
Whitney describes a typical day as “exciting, multi-faceted and fast-paced”. She says, “Our COVID population has taken my staff and me on an emotional rollercoaster. We have held their hands, we have prayed with them, cried with them, rejoiced with small and big victories, and the list goes on. The experiences that stand out the most are those who have recovered and have come back to visit us or sent messages stating how we were essential in their recovery. Knowing they are doing better or back at their normal state is more rewarding than any physical thing we could receive.”
A tragedy became the inspiration for Whitney to join the health care profession. “While in high school, my great-grandmother suffered a stroke that left her debilitated. My grandmother promised her that no matter what she would take care of her. I watched my grandmother give every aspect of care and dignity to a woman that did the same for her as a child. She provided total care to my great-grandmother that anyone would be proud of. Even in the darkest hours, she was steadfast and did all she could to make sure my great-grandmother’s needs were met and that she was comfortable. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a nurse. I wanted to show compassion and care for others just like my grandmother had for her mother.”
Her philosophy of care
Whitney’s philosophy of care is to “listen, educate, and inform”. She continues, “We know my community is at high risk for hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Encouraging my community to establish with a primary care provider and see them annually is key. Engaging in early detection practices and making necessary dietary and lifestyle changes are also of the utmost importance. It’s never too late to start!”
Thank you for sharing your journey during Black History Month, Whitney!