Wednesday, October 30, 2013
’ve seen a lot of things that most people have never seen…things that make you want to come home and hug your children,” says English Myers who has served as a pediatric critical care nurse for 19 years and a pediatric flight nurse for 13.
Her job, she says, “makes you know the small things don’t really matter.”
“I always loved kids,” she says, “ and in high school I worked with my aunt in fun preschool during the summer. I always knew I wanted to be a nurse and work with kids.”
She graduated from Clemson University with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation - Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
She went to work at the Medical University of South Carolina in child psychology then went back to MUSC nursing school to be an RN.
“My grandmother had graduated from MUSC as a nurse.”
However, when Myers graduated, MUSC wasn’t hiring so she went to McLeod Hospital in Florence and worked there for a year or so.
“I helped open a pediatric ICU.”
“Then I started traveling,” she said. “It was huge for me…such an education.”
The traveling she is referring to is travel nursing. It is a program that identifies where there is a shortage of nurses and that is where you get sent. The program covers your travel, living expenses and the hospital covers your salary.
Myers was sent to Texas, Utah, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Alaska, Oregon and, finally, to South Carolina to Charleston Children’s where she decided to stay.
As a flight nurse she worked 24-hour and 12-hour shifts as an employee of MUSC in Pediatric Meducare, which is the only dedicated pediatric flight medic unit in the state.
However, her work world came crashing down a few weeks ago. Myers had a septic elbow and had to have surgery on it. Although her recovery has been ongoing, she can no longer lift the heavy weight of the equipment as required by a flight nurse.
The job was challenging and stressful - both physically and emotionally - but she loved it.
Taking a deep breath, she smiles, and says “I love teaching and working with families…I would like to go into teaching. At the moment, she is pursuing substitute nursing at the elementary school level and looking for teaching opportunities.
The mother of two sons - Jahnz, 8 and Barnwell, 7 - she has had firsthand experience with juvenile diabetes. Her son’s best friend was diagnosed and she realized how little parents know about the disease. It is one of the areas she would like to teach in.
In her spare time she is active in the Summerville Elementary School PTA, was vice-president for two years and is chair of various committees.
She has served the Summerville Cotillion on the board for six years, was active in the Junior Service League for six years and is now a sustaining member. She has volunteered with the annual Kitchen Tour for the Dorchester Children’s Center, Bethany United Methodist Church, a volunteer nurse for its Vacation Bible School and at its annual Tea Room. She served on the board of the St. Paul’s Learning Center when her children were there and is parent liaison for the SES School Improvement Council.
She is dedicated to fundraising and has taught her boys the joys of helping others through fundraising. The boys have worked raising money for Chase for the Cure with the YMCA where they were among the 31 children who raised $12,000 through lemonade and Popsicle sales.
“I am teaching them community service,” she said. Another focus with her sons is fundraising for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
When not serving the school or community, Myers enjoys cooking, going to the beach, fishing and boating with her family and simply playing with the kids.
“I have a wonderful husband - Randy Myers - with a heart of gold. He is very supportive of everything I do. I have projects going all the time,” she laughs, “ and he will say ‘okay, what are we doing?’” He pitches right in and helps her.
Her goals are simple. Professionally she just wants to do something to help educate parents, especially new parents. And at home? To support her children in school, teach them to give back and to have fun making childhood memories for them.