CHICAGO (CBS)-- In honor of National Nurses Week, CBS 2 is introducing you to some of the local nurses saving lives and making a difference in the Chicago area.
Meet Sharon Munch: "We do affect everybody's life"
The Oak Park native has been a nurse for 25 years and works University of Chicago Medicine Ingalls Hospital.
"A close friend was a mentor of mine and was a nurse so she kind of talked us, two friends to be nurses," Munch said.
She takes care of patients who are battling cancer.
"We do affect everybody's life that we that we do physically touch," Munch said.
Meet Colleen Mcintyre: "It's touched my life so deeply"
Mcintyre has been a nurse for 20 years and currently serves as a nurse manager for infusions at the University of Chicago Ingalls Memorial.
She grew up in Berwyn, Illinois.
"The most rewarding part of the job is definitely relationships with patients. It's very meaningful to be a nurse. It's touched my life so deeply," Mcintyre said.
Meet Karen Galloway: "My mother was a nurse...I wanted to be just like her"
Galloway is an emergency room nurse at the University of Chicago Medicine Ingalls Hospital in Tinley Park. She's from New Lenox and has been a nurse for 30 years.
"My mother was a nurse. I saw her as I grew up taking care of people all through my life and I wanted to be just like her," Galloway said.
She said it is a challenging time to be a nurse, with the pandemic and staffing.
"I like when people appreciate what I do. I like to see that people are getting better for something that may be I did to help them," Galloway said.
Meet Connor Powel: "Nurses have more of an impact than people realize"
Powel, a Tinley Park native, is an ICU nurse at Silver Cross Hospital. This is his third year working as a nurse.
"What I love the most about my job is the day-to-day impacts that I have on my patients," He said. "There's no better feeling than noticing a change in my patient's condition early."
Powel wanted to make a difference and was motivated to become a nurse by family members in the medical field.
"Nurses have more of an impact than people realize and I'm happy to be a part of it," He said.
Meet Brooklynn Hayes: "It's a passion for me"
Joliet native Hayes has worked as a nurse for almost two years. She is working as a clinical resource nurse at Silver Cross Hospital.
Day-to-day, she handles patient care in multiple units including the ICU and ER.
"It's something I've always wanted to do," Hayes said. "It's a passion for me, it's a desire. Feels like what I'm meant to do."
Meet Abby Jarchow: "Every day we're going to get to help a patient"
Jarchow works in the procedural care unit, in the recovery room, at Silver Cross Hospital. She has been a nurse for 15 years and lives in Frankfort, Illinois.
"My day-to-day life, we help the patients as they're waking up for anesthesia. As they are coming out of the fog we ensure that they're in a safe environment," She said.
She said her nursing career has given her many opportunities.
"What most keeps me going is just knowing that every day is different and every day we're going to get to help a patient," Jarchow said.
Meet Pamela Dunne: "Nursing is a calling."
Dunne is originally from Peru, South America where she worked as a high school teacher. When her father got sick, she learned about a new life path.
"I used to be a teacher, a high school teacher back in my country. Then my father got sick," Dunner said. "I had a great experience with the nurses, they were very compassionate. They made a change in my life and I wanted to do the same for the patients and the families."
Now, she is an ICU nurse at Silver Cross Hospital and she's been a nurse for over seven years.
"Nursing is a calling, you have to put your heart in what you do," Dunne said. "It means you like to help others and be there for them."
Meet Jennifer Marcinek: "This is really inspiring."
Marcinek is a labor and delivery nurse at Edward Hospital in Naperville.
She was inspired to become a nurse after a car accident left her in the ICU.
She said amazing medical staff took care of her and she thought, "absolutely want to do this."
Marcinek has been working as a nurse for 24 years.
Meet Vladimir Fong: "We're saving lives"
Born and raised in Darrien, Illinois, Fong is a critical care nurse at Edward Hospital and has been a nurse for 24 years.
Day-to-day, he takes care of "open-heart patients" and neurosurgical patients.
"I love most that I can be there when my patients are the most vulnerable. They are here. They are nervous. They are scared and I'm here to guide them through this process before surgery," Fong said. "We're saving lives and we're making a difference in people's lives. We're making an impact and we are remembered as their heroes."
Meet Corrine Lindquist: "Nurses are a special kind of person"
Lindquist is a clinical nurse educator at Rush Copley Medical Center. She's been working as a nurse for 20 years.
"My mom when I was younger was going to be a nurse but it never panned out for her so it kind of inspired me to go into it and to nursing," she said.
She works to onboard new nurses and says it's "refreshing" to bring on new people.
"Nurses are a special kind of person. No matter what you're going through, you always have someone that's going to be there that you can lean on," Lindquist said.
Meet Francine Davis:" Nursing is a rewarding field"
Davis is an infusion nurse at Stroger Hospital. The Chicago native has worked as a nurse for nine years.
Day-to-day, Davis works with chemo infusion therapy.
"Nursing is a rewarding field and if you care for people, this would be a field that you should invest in," She said.
Meet Zach Mosher: "Proud to be a nurse"
"Since I was little, I've always wanted to help people and as I grew older I realized that I wanted to get into something that had to do with healthcare, science," Mosher said. "That always interested me."
Mosher, from Sandwich, Illinois, is a nurse at Rush Copley Medical Center. He's worked as a nurse for a year and a half.
"Ultimately it all comes down to teamwork. I've been very blessed to be in this profession," He said. When somebody is down, everybody rallies behind them to help pick them up and it really makes me proud to be a nurse."
Meet Riane McClellan: "I wanted to impact and touch the lives"
McClellan is a a nurse clinician at Ruth M. Rothstein Core Center.
"Just seeing the patients happy and meeting their goals and meeting their compliance and caring for the individual, the family, the community and also from the love and support that I get from my family and coworkers," McClellan said.
She said said she finds it rewarding to met the needs of the patients.
"I became a nurse because I wanted to impact and touch the lives of people in a special way," McClellan said.
Meet Sharon Hollivay-Wheeler: "It feeds my spirit."
Hollivay-Wheeler is a nurse clinician in critical care at Stroger Hospital.
"I love most about this job is being able to take care of my patients," She said. "I love giving that. It's passionate for me. It feeds my spirit."
She said her education and knowledge has allowed her to be an advocate for her patients during tough times, like COVID. "I know I can provide this care," She said.
Meet Sonia Holliday: "I love taking care of people"
For over 20 years, Holliday has worked as a nurse.
She currently works at Rush Copley Hospital and is originally from Louisiana.
"When i was younger, my grandfather had a stroke," She said. "When he was in the hospital, I saw how well the nurses took care of him so that sparked something in me to want to take care of others."
She said during the pandemic, it was hard when family members were not allowed in the hospital.
"Being a nurse for me, I love taking care of people, I love helping everyone, I love working with all the many nurses here. We're so compassionate about our jobs," Holliday said.
Meet Rhona Fagust: "An awesome privilege"
ER nurse Fagust works at Edward Hospital. She's been a nurse for 24 years.
"I got into nursing because I've always had a passion for anything science or medial related and I've always enjoyed taking care of other people," She said.
She said the ER has very strong camaraderie.
"Patient nurse friendship is very unique in that we take care of them in their most vulnerable moments and the fact that I can come in and be a stranger and that they entrust me to care for them is an awesome privilege," Fagust said.
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