Pregnancy center nurses go above and beyond with a broad approach

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Three nurses at the True Care Women’s Resource Center in Casper, Wyoming apply their skills not only at the center, but other vital missions as well.

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Erin goes to New York

Volunteer nurse Erin Wesnitzer has assisted True Care patients for the past several years; however, her association with the Pregnancy Center began over 20 years ago when she served on the organization’s board of directors. After raising her two children, she said she “wanted to come back” to help True Care.

“I have a heart for the unborn child, for life,” Erin said. “I love taking care of people, especially children and pregnant women – True Care fulfills this desire.”

Prior to COVID-19, she served in a clinic, helping nurses by performing pregnancy tests and taking a medical history; she has also sometimes served as an advocate for patients. Now she arranges telehealth appointments, which include collecting a patient’s initial medical history before the woman comes to the center for her clinic appointment and scheduling that patient’s clinic visit. .

Erin’s inner strength, faith and nursing skills were tested earlier this year when she was called by Samaritan’s Purse to serve in New York City during the spring COVID crisis. Tents have been set up in Central Park; Erin served in one of those tent hospitals.

Samaritans Purse Tent Women’s Hospital Before Opening
Photo courtesy of Erin Wesnitzer

“I served as a nurse in the women’s department, working the night shift,” she explained. “Being in a tent is unique – there is no bathroom, just a port-a-potty. Most of the women couldn’t walk very far, so we took patients there and we as staff could only go to the bathroom once during our shift. We didn’t have an LPN, so we did everything including flipping and repositioning patients, anything you can imagine regarding respiratory care.

She and another nurse shared the shift, wearing their PPE for at least 13 hours. Erin took a “lunch break” between two and three in the morning.

Erin and another room nurse get ready to leave for their shift

“It was quieter back then,” she said.

Erin and the other nurse on the ward were taking care of the first patients who came in for treatment. They served women of various nationalities, including Italians, Germans, Spaniards and Middle Easterners. Translators were available if needed, Erin said. She worked with approximately 50 patients during her four weeks of service.

Erin and other medical staff at Samaritans Purse in New York

“We got to know our patients and some of their families,” she said. “Once they realized how much we care about us, that we worked hard, they started to trust us. We prayed with them and gave them the best care.

Tweet this: “Once they realized how much we care about us, that we worked hard, they started to trust us. We prayed with them and gave them the best care.

She said she was keeping in touch with some of the women she served during the month of April. Four women came to Christ in those four weeks, and one patient died, while “several others” later died in intensive care, she said.

After Erin returned to Casper, she quarantined herself in her room for 14 days. She was also able to sit on the porch of her house to enjoy the return of spring to the community.

After that, she spent another 14 days in her house. Now she is back to volunteering at True Care, as a telehealth nurse.

Amber: From nurse to midwife

Amber Zimmer was a part-time nurse with True Care for 10 years.

Amber Zimmer

The youngest to graduate from Casper College’s nursing program, Amber expanded her nursing work, becoming a certified nurse-midwife in 2017 after graduating from Frontier Nursing University in Kentucky. She started her own practice, Divine Women’s Care, at Casper the same year.

“True Care inspired me to continue the story (beyond a first pregnancy visit),” she said. “I provide comprehensive care, including visits to healthy women, labor and delivery, and limited obstetric ultrasound and breastfeeding visits. “

Amber knew she wanted to enter the medical field when she was a teenager. Her mother served as a physiotherapist and when Amber’s grandmother suffered a stroke and spent time in the hospital, Amber said she “prayed a lot for guidance and discernment.” eventually concluding that God was leading her to become a nurse.

“The Lord has directed my way,” she said. “I like getting to know families. I can be an inspiration. I can pray with them and share the gospel.

Tweet this: “The Lord has directed my path. I like to get to know families. I can be an inspiration. I can pray with them and share the gospel.

Amber sees about 20 clients per year, and she performs 12 to 14 deliveries each year.

Amber Zimmer, Nurse Manager of True Care Sally Heyer,
Rebecca Tharp and Connie Thone Ambrecht, ultrasound trainer.

Photo courtesy of the True Care Women’s Resource Center

Her husband, Will, is a nurse at the local correctional center. Both dream of putting their skills to the service of the foreign mission once their two daughters are older, she said.

“We would both love to do medical mission work someday,” Amber said.

Rebecca: Getting treatment in other countries

Rebecca Tharp became a True Care nurse in 2009 and director of the centre’s parenting and sexual integrity programs a few years later. She sees her work at True Care as a field of mission, but she also has her eyes set on international work.

“I see True Care as my mission work, but I also want to continue doing international medical missions,” she said.

Rebecca has been to Haiti six times, serving families, women and children.

Rebecca in Haiti

“I did different things there, including serving in a specialist orphanage and as a clinic nurse. I assessed their needs, helped fill out medications at the pharmacy, dewormed each patient, and distributed soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes and washcloths, ”she said.

She also shared her knowledge and education with Haitian women on fertility and abortion.

“The abortion pill is legal there and often taken at home,” she said.

Rebecca has helped the poorest of the poor, many of whom have traveled 80 kilometers or more to seek treatment.

“People would arrive at the clinic at four in the morning and wait all day for their names to be drawn (for treatment),” she said. “It broke my heart because there weren’t enough doctors and some people walking 50 to 100 miles wouldn’t get the services they needed. ”

Tweet this: “It broke my heart because there weren’t enough doctors, and some people who walked 50 to 100 miles would not get the services they needed.”

“That’s what drove me to continue my education and graduate,” she added.

Rebecca serves in Haiti

Similar to Amber who continued her education almost six years ago, Rebecca is now enrolled at the University of Wyoming, seeking a doctorate in May 2022 as a family nurse practitioner.

She and Amber also serve as lactation consultants, helping True Care patients with breastfeeding issues, and they plan to partner in the practice once Rebecca completes her education.

Do the work of god

The three ladies regard their work, where, however, and whom they serve, as work for the Lord.

“My motto is and always has been ‘love God and serve his people’,” said Rebecca. “God is stretching me. “

“I believe I serve God by being a midwife,” Amber said. “I can see God’s natural purpose at birth, and I love to be a part of it. ”

“The biggest thing I learned (when I was in New York) was on my own,” Erin said.

“I was about ten days away and felt like I couldn’t do this!” »», She declared. “I had to let go and let God take over. I wrote Philippians 4:13 on duct tape, which I put on my boots to remind me. This (the scriptures) can also be applied to work in pregnancy centers. “

“I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13

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