Health Care: A Family Affair
March 21, 2019
SHSU Media Contact: Hannah Haney
Hayley and Hunter Johnson have been inseparable their whole lives, and not because they were born under the same roof. Blame it on nature or nurture, these fraternal twins from Porter, TX and Sam Houston State University alumnae have enjoyed the same activities and passions since day one.
“It’s a twin thing,” they said when prompted about their similarities.
“My sister and I both knew when we graduated high school that we wanted to go to Sam Houston State to study nursing,” Hayley said. “Being in the position to help others in their most vulnerable state was always something we knew would bring fulfillment to our lives.”
The pair eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from SHSU in 2018, and now work as registered nurses at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, a Magnet® hospital for Nursing Excellence by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
“We were always motivated and determined individuals and our desire to become nurses was something that we knew we had to achieve,” Hunter said. “Sam Houston State made that possible and we are very thankful for that.”
They are the first in their family to enter into the medical field, but they were fortunate to have each other for support.
“Having my twin sister with me in nursing school was such a blessing. We really leaned on one another when things were tough,” Hayley said. “Nursing is a crazy process and can be really trying on your self-confidence, so having my sister there to lift me up reminded me that I am smart and helped keep me sane.”
Even though they currently work together, it was a chance of fate that they were both offered positions at the same hospital, at the same time. They ultimately agreed that they did not want to pass up a great career opportunity and accepted their roles; Hayley works the day shift on a medical surgical floor, while Hunter works the night shift on a Stepdown ICU floor.
“We enjoy working at the same hospital because it’s nice to know that your sister is on the other side of the building if we ever need anything,” Hunter said. “It’s definitely a comfort thing, sometimes when she leaves work, I am getting to work so she will bring me coffee.”
Their jobs require that they think fast on their feet and make quick decisions on the spot, which can be intimidating for new graduates, but they enjoy the work.
“Nursing is hard, so much harder than I ever could have imagined. It tests my patience, my sanity, and makes me question myself every day, but it is so worth it,” Hayley said. “Being a nurse isn’t just about passing meds or taking vitals, it’s about building relationships with people who desperately need you during their most vulnerable time and advocating for those who can’t advocate for themselves.”
According to the twins, the life of a registered nurse is chaotic, exhausting, exhilarating and fulfilling.
“Nurses are the face of medicine. We are there with our patients from beginning to end. We hold their hand when they feel hopeless, we bathe them when they can’t do it themselves, we comfort and explain things to them in a way they can understand, and we are the first to act when an emergency situation occurs,” Hayley said. “Nursing is truly a fulfilling career.”
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