HOUSTON - Here's an inspirational story of a mother and daughter who went to nursing school at the same time and now work at the same hospital in Houston. It has helped the powerful duo support each other, as they work to heal others during the global pandemic.
Michelle and Elaine Nguyen are both registered nurses at Memorial Hermann Southwest, working on the same floor with the same mission to help others. It's "Mom Michelle's" third career, becoming a nurse only eight months ago. Medical workers inspired her to seek this career, after she spent three weeks in ICU, following a serious car accident.
"I've always wanted to be part of Memorial Hermann family ever since I was young, because I was in and out of the hospital myself, and also my father. And so I saw the care that was given to me and my father and I wanted to be that culture, that subculture. So, I lived a few blocks from Memorial Hermann, I would pass by Memorial Hermann every day and dream about working there and I finally did," smiles Michelle.
Michelle and Elaine have always had a close bond. Elaine looks up to her mom, so following a similar career was a natural fit. She began her first nursing job in July and didn't let a fear of COVID-19 falter her dreams.
“For me, I started during the pandemic, so this is my normal, I don't know what was normal before. But even then, we still deliver the same patient care, as far as I'm concerned,” says Elaine. “I saw a little difference, but it really didn't change how I gave out patient care. I mean everybody's sick, I didn't really categorize who was COVID, who has a certain illness, I just did my work like I was trained, and I didn't see any difference to be honest. I don't treat anybody different when it comes to patient care,” says Michelle.
They’re both still amazed to be working together.
“I would never imagine. I mean, I was shocked that she was accepted on my floor and excited as a mother, because I was proud of her. That and all of the sweat of raising them. I'm getting kind of emotional that they (her children) finally find a career that suits them,” states Michelle. Elaine says it gives her a sense of comfort to work with her mother. “I know there's someone there I can go to, to ask questions or just let out stress, especially at the end of the day,” she smiles.
They're often seen walking out at the end of the day together, as they look forward to the next day, to return to what they both call their dream jobs.
“All the coworkers are like family, especially on the sixth floor. When I saw my co-workers, just helping each other out when I first came here, I wanted to introduce Elaine to that initial foundation of her career, so she can see how and what a work system should be like,” says Michelle.