Nina Howe, NP, Nurse Practitioner, Division of Hospital Medicine, UMass Memorial Medical Center
When most of us are winding down for the day, Nina Howe is just getting started. Nina is a nurse practitioner who works as an affiliate practitioner for UMass Memorial Medical Center. When the day shift goes home, Nina and her colleagues take over for the night. She knows it can be difficult for some patients to get the rest they need in the hospital. “Being in a hospital is a big deal to many patients, terrifying for some,” Nina said. “I try to give them comfort and a confident attitude when answering their questions or easing their concerns."
Nina, who’s from Worcester, started out as an X-ray technologist assistant. She joined UMass Memorial Health Care in 2008 as a registered nurse, caring for acutely ill cardiac and vascular surgery patients. She became a nurse practitioner in 2013 and serves as an affiliate practitioner at the University Campus and Memorial Campus. "I'm just more of a night person," Nina said.
The hospital never sleeps. Working overnight demands not only a surplus of energy, but the ability to think on one's feet and lend a hand where needed. "We collaborate," Nina said of her fellow caregivers. "If things are busy on one end, we help each other out. We have a great group of people who work nights and in our division, whom we can count on."
What does it take to stay energized? "You have to be very motivated and able to multitask," said Nina, "because at any given time, there are multiple things happening. You have to be able to triage patients' concerns, while seeing all the patients and spending time with them. You can’t just rush in and rush out."
Nina's team cares for patients admitted for various reasons, including bone marrow transplants, neurosurgery, hospital medicine and urology patients. Their families can rest assured that while they are sleeping, Nina and her team are caring for their loved ones, all through the night. "I hope patients take comfort knowing that no matter what time, day or night, if something comes up that needs to be addressed—there’s somebody there to take care of them. I like going home knowing I've made a difference in someone's life."