There was the time when Sandra Jackson – now celebrating her 30th anniversary as a Visiting Nurse with the Society – taught one of her clients to tell which medications she was supposed to take by touch.
This client was an elderly sea service retiree, with a vision condition that prevented her from seeing clearly. So Sandra taught her to pick out her meds by feeling their size, and smell. Sandra visited her in her home for eight years.
Then there was the time when Sandra called on a young mom, about 22, whose husband was deployed. This mom requested a visiting nurse, so Sandra stopped in to see her. “When I pulled into the driveway,” Sandra says, “I saw another lady standing in the door, not the person I was supposed to visit.” As Sandra walked up to the lady, she recognized her. Twenty years earlier, Sandra had helped her with her child, who was now grown up and was actually the mom Sandra was there to see. “I met two generations in one home visit,” Sandra says. “This lady told her daughter, ‘This was your nurse when you were born!’”
Sandra’s career as a Visiting Nurse is filled with instances of “then there was the time.” She’s a caring, trained, and skilled health care professional who has devoted her working life to helping Sailors, Marines, and their families.
She has clients in their 80’s and 90’s whom she’s been seeing for 15 years. “I always tell them, ‘I’m your nurse until you don’t need me anymore,’” Sandra says. “And you can just tell how relieved they are to hear that.”
Sandra even provides training and orientation for other Visiting Nurses.
But what she really loves is helping new moms and their newborns. “Often the mom is alone,” Sandra says. “She’s in a strange city where she doesn’t know anyone. The doctors and nurses from the hospital are gone. The spouse is back to work. It’s just her and her baby. She needs us.”
Sandra first learned about the Society’s Visiting Nurse program when she was a new mom with a Navy husband who was deployed. Sandra requested a Society nurse to come to her house to help. Seeing what the visiting nurse did, Sandra felt like this could be an opportunity for her, too.
She was already a trained nurse with experience at Corpus Christi Naval Hospital. So when a Society job became available, she applied and got it. That was 1987, and she’s been with us ever since.
“The Sailors, Marines, and their families are my peers,” Sandra says. “My husband has been deployed. I know what it’s like to be alone with a newborn. And I know what it means to be able to call a Society visiting nurse. It’s family tending to family.”
It’s the heartfelt connection with her clients that has made her job as a Society visiting nurse so rewarding. “This is the best job I could have imagined,” Sandra says. “I really have enjoyed every minute of my 30 years.”
Thank you Sandra, for your compassionate and caring service!