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From childhood experience, a career path is chosen

2019 National Nurses Week Profile of Army Civilian Ms. Jeannine Keeler 2019 National Nurses Week Profile of Army Civilian Ms. Jeannine Keeler

Jeannine Keeler

Gastroenterology clinic nurse
Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

 

I knew I wanted to be a nurse when I was 5 years old. I was hospitalized with acute gastrointestinal pain, but I felt the need to take care of all the sick children around me. At a very young age, I took on the role of patient advocate.

I joined the military as a civilian nurse because I wanted to give back to all those who serve our country. I come from a family of many veterans from all branches of the armed forces.

The best thing about my job is the people, from the active-duty soldiers and their family members whom I serve, to the military and civilian health professionals with whom I work. They are some of the most important people in my life and have become like family to me.

My most prominent memory of being a nurse is when I delivered a baby with the guidance of an obstetrician. I loved the experience of bringing life into the world.

I was most challenged when I had to take care of a friend who was in critical condition. It was a hard day because I was asked by family members to care for their loved one, and I knew what the outcome would be. I wanted more than anything to be able to give them good news, but I couldn’t.

My most memorable patient experience was taking care of renal transplant patients in my first nursing position, and watching their faces when they realized their new kidney was working. Liquid gold, I’d say, and they’d beam!

When I’m not in uniform, I’m either spending time with my nine grandchildren or traveling. Both activities are near and dear to my heart.

My nurse superpower is the Lord, above all else.

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