Payton Bevard and Madee Stones both earned their Muskingum nursing degrees in 2018 and now serve on the frontlines of patient care in the Genesis Hospital-Zanesville Critical Care Unit.
“We care for patients who are battling a wide variety of serious health issues in the CCU, so the pace of our work is always very rapid and intensely focused,” Payton said. ”Every day is different, and we use the full range of our nursing skills,” Madee added.
“Since COVID-19 began, the communication aspect of our job is more important than ever before,” Payton explained. “No visitors are allowed into the hospital, so we are our patients’ only link to their family members. Multiple times each day we make phone calls to keep patients and families in touch, and we also facilitate more of the communication between families and physicians, which usually takes place directly when families are able to visit.”
“It is vital that we help our patients feel safe and confident in their care right now,” Madee noted. “Because COVID-19 is so new, we are constantly learning more about the disease and how to care for and protect our patients, ourselves, and the public.”
For both Payton and Madee, very satisfying moments within their intense days happen while creating the patient-family communication links. “I know I’m making a difference in people’s lives when I can help family members see through FaceTime that their loved one is not alone, that we are there for them, and doing everything we can to help them,” said Payton.
“Zanesville is a very tight-knit community, and our neighbors are rallying around us, showing signs of support in their windows and as they drive by the hospital. It is very a special place to be, just as Muskingum was,” said Madee.
“Our Muskingum professors are all amazing, especially in teaching us how to communicate and build trust with patients and their families,” Payton recalls. For Madee, “Learning how to have the open and honest, hard conversations that need to take place in a CCU environment was exceptional preparation for what we are facing with the current pandemic.”
Both Payton and Madee describe Professor Joe Shaeffer as a special mentor, who guided them to begin working in Genesis Hospital-Zanesville’s CCU as technicians during their student years. That experience led them to move into their current nursing roles after graduating and passing their licensing exams.
Payton grew up in Nashport, Ohio and her Muskie family includes her father Larry Bevard ’89, her sister Kayley Bevard Snider ’15, and many members of the Snider family. Madee is a native of Richmond, Virginia.
Ranked #1 in the state of Ohio by registerdnursing.org, Muskingum’s nursing program has achieved a 100% pass rate by its graduates on the national nursing licensing exam (NCLEX) and 100% career placement in the field for four consecutive years.