Nurse loves people, his job

( Cody Hancock loves his job, even if it makes his feet hurt.

A registered nurse for the last 11 months, Hancock, 22, started work at the Lake Wales Medical Center four years ago. He was only 18 then, a health unit coordinator who managed the day-to-day operations of a floor in the hospital.

Now, having completed an associate of science degree in nursing at Polk State College, he works with medical and surgical patients in Medical/Surgical and Medical/Telemetry. He said he also “floats” to work in the Progressive Care Unit, where there is a “grab bag of problems and issues.”

Beginning today, the News Chief will introduce you to medical professionals in the East Polk community each week.

News Chief: Why did you want to become a registered nurse?

Hancock: For many reasons. My older sister is an RN, and I looked up to her. I love sciences and I love people. I didn’t realize until my senior year in high school that nursing brought together things that I love. I also plan on going to seminary (obtaining a master’s degree at a Bible college) and I figured it wise to get a career in something that could not only help me get through the master’s program financially, but something that I could use on the other side of seminary as well.

News Chief: In the first year of your career at LWMC, how is your job different than you thought it would be?

Hancock: I didn’t think my legs would hurt so much, but they do … after every shift.

News Chief: Yes, there is definitely a lot of walking and standing in this career field. That being said, what do you enjoy most about your career as an RN?

Hancock: The same thing that (some days) makes me frustrated with my job: the people. My father-in-law summed up this dichotomy well one day when he told me: “People are people and nothing more. And God is God and nothing less.” People are going to be people and I have to love them, in the good and the bad. The people I care for make nursing worth it for me.

News Chief: You mentioned seminary, but where do you see yourself in a year from now? What are your goals?

Hancock: I am currently enrolled in Polk State College’s RN to BSN (bachelor’s of science in nursing) program and have 10 classes between me and my bachelor’s degree in nursing. So, in a year or so I’d like to have my BSN. Then, it will be time to go to seminary.

News Chief: What advice would you give others thinking about a similar career?

Hancock: Immerse yourself – right now – in the culture you want to work in after you graduate. If you want to work in a hospital, then get a job in a hospital while you’re in school. Also, continue building your interpersonal, prioritization and time-management skills because you will use all three every day.