Caring for others comes naturally for Flaget Memorial Hospital intensive care unit (ICU) nurse Lynn Howard, RN.
“One of the reasons I went into nursing is because I’ve always been a nurturer,” said Lynn Howard, RN, ICU nurse at Flaget Memorial Hospital in Bardstown. “I’ve always enjoyed taking care of others when they need help.”
Sixteen years ago, a need for nurses in the Flaget Memorial Hospital ICU led Howard to accept a role caring for the sickest patients, and she never looked back.
“I’ve stayed an ICU nurse because it’s fast-paced, interesting and challenging,” Howard said. “There’s always something new to learn or see.”
Howard monitors and assesses patients’ conditions and adjusts their care, if necessary. Some patients may receive mechanical ventilation or intravenous medication, and Howard helps manage these treatments. Importantly, she collaborates with physicians and other providers to deliver and advocate for the best care possible.
Leaning on Each Other
Serving in the transitional care unit as well as the ICU, Howard relishes the close-knit nature of the hospital and community.
“I value working in the community where I grew up,” she said. “I also love the family atmosphere at Flaget Memorial Hospital. There’s terrific teamwork among the different departments and health care disciplines.”
That cooperative spirit helped sustain and inspire Howard during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she called the most challenging stretch of her career. During the delta variant surge last year, the ICU cared for a record number of patients on ventilators and high-flow oxygen.
“It was overwhelming to care for such a large number of patients at once,” Howard said. “I got through that time because I work alongside an awesome group of people.”
Honored for Exceptional Care
Howard’s value is not lost on her fellow employees either. Her organization, positivity, empathy and can-do attitude are just some of the qualities that earned her the 2021 Employee of the Year awards for Flaget Memorial Hospital and CHI Saint Joseph Health. In addition, Louisville Business First magazine honored her as part of a select group of frontline health care heroes at a reception and awards ceremony in February.
“I was surprised to receive the awards and also honored and appreciative of the recognition,” Howard said. “It’s important to have a great group of co-workers around you, and I have that at Flaget Memorial Hospital.”
Howard spends her free time with family and is looking forward to spending warm summer days with them and relaxing by the pool with a good book. She’s certainly earned it.