Source: The News-Enterprise
From carpentry to nursing, Jason Wade’s career change has rewarded him in many ways.
A nurse with Hardin Memorial Health, Wade worked in carpentry in Campbellsville for seven years before going back to school for nursing.
“I like to work with my hands,” he said.
He built items such as exotic wood doors and mantelpieces.
When the housing market declined, he returned to school to do something the 35-year-old had wanted to do since middle school — nursing.
He jokes he’s following into the footsteps of Jesus because he was a carpenter who turned healer.
A Cecilia resident, Wade has been a nurse with HMH for six years. He recently took advantage of a program HMH has to pay for his continuing education to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.
He attended McKendree University and received the 2018 Spirit of McKendree Award at graduation. The award is presented to a student who exemplifies the character of the university including being community minded, demonstrating excellence in academics and overcoming obstacles. The university’s faculty nominates students each year for the award.
He started as a floor nurse and later became a charge nurse. He’s also on the special development council. During his career at HMH, he’s received the Professional Development Award, Physician’s Choice Award and the Daisy Award.
“Jason pursues excellence at every level within HMH and outside HMH,” said Sharon Wright, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer. “In addition to returning to college, Jason is active at the bedside, within his nursing unit, serves on our house-wide shared governance councils and volunteers in our community.”
Wade said the profession is worth the effort.
“Nursing itself is very rewarding,” he said.
Wade works with chemo and end-of-life care patients.
“There are some critical moments in my journey,” he said.
Wade said he hopes to get into management in nursing someday.
Wade has learned a lot about himself and nursing during his career.
“There’s a bunch of difference in what you learn in school and what you do on the floor,” he said.
Co-workers said Wade volunteers in and out of the hospital.
His supervisor, Lori Gandy, the floor manager, called him a leader in the unit.
“He serves as both a resource and a role model,” she said. “He regularly receives compliments from patients and their families about the care he provides.”
She said Wade spent hours folding thousands of paper filters to make an angel tree at the hospital.
Through the years, Wade has seen how carpentry and nursing are similar.
Both, he said, require attention to detail and measurements. Carpentry, like nursing, is about putting all the pieces together to make something better.
To others who are thinking of going back to school or making a massive career change, Wade said to “follow your dreams.”
“Change is scary and I was scared to death I wouldn’t be good at school because I was out for so long,” he said, adding he found his niche. “If you have the means and have a dream, follow it.”