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Johnson City Medical Center Nursing Story - Crystal Cochran, RN - a Caring Heart

Crystal Cochran, RN
Crystal is pictured with Mrs. Wanda Rickett, a recent patient on the 2500 unit, and RN colleague Cari Collins. Crystal and Cari have just completed morning personal care for Mrs. Rickett and all three are taking a break to pose for this photo!

Crystal Cochran chuckles as she explains that although as a college freshman, she was certain that she wanted to become a nurse, but her mom wanted her to explore other options. So when Crystal declared nursing as her major as a sophomore, her mom got to pay for that fifth year she needed to complete her nursing education! Crystal graduated in May 2006 with a Bachelors Degree in Nursing from East Tennessee State University. She is now completing her orientation to Johnson City Medical Center’s 2400 & 2500 units, where she worked as a Nurse Tech while in the nursing program. Crystal explains that after watching and hearing her mom, Sharon Cochran, talk about all the exciting and challenging aspects of cardiac nursing, she knew early on that she too, wanted to work with patients dealing with heart-related problems.

Crystal got her own career in healthcare started when she completed a Certified Nurse Assistant course following her first semester of nursing school. Last summer, Crystal participated in the Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) Nurse Extern program because she wanted to spend  time in a variety of clinical areas working with a mentor and honing her nursing skills while getting an idea of what area and what type of cardiac-related patient care she could choose when she completed school. Crystal notes that while she enjoyed completing her nursing management semester on a neurology unit, “the heart is what I know because my mom has been a cardiology nurse for years. I have learned from her!”

Working with older patients, even when they are ill, is also something that Crystal says she enjoys about her nursing career. Typically the patients in her area range in age from 30s to 90s. “I am learning to value the need to slow down and to spend time with my patients. No matter how crazy my work is feeling, I make myself pause and talk with my patient – to connect with them. This is the most rewarding part of what I’m doing!”

Crystal has learned and is putting into practice one of the key elements of patient-centered care long ago noted by physician Sir William Osler: “Patients don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care!”