Person of Interest: Jessica Burford, ER Nurse
Q: You’re an ER nurse at Willis-Knighton North. What made you decide to take this path, particularly in the ER?
A: I chose to become a nurse for the same reason lots of people make that decision — I wanted to help people and be a comfort to them during their worst times. I’m passionate about helping patients and their families make it through whatever it is they are dealing with. I chose the emergency room because it’s a little of everything; you never know what’s going to come through the doors. It’s also a huge adrenaline rush and, lots of times, very fast paced.
Q: Where did you attend nursing school and what was that experience like?
A: I went to Northwestern State University and it was the absolute hardest thing I’ve ever done. I cried at least twice a week, but it was definitely worth it. If it were easy, everyone would make it.
Q: Nursing seems like an all around tough field — emotionally, physically and mentally. How do you maintain a positive attitude when you care for many during the toughest times of their lives?
A: The only way I can describe it is knowing I’m there during the hardest times, I know I have to get them through it. There’s just no other option. Also, you can’t bring the work home with you or it will destroy you. Some days are harder than others.
Q: What does a typical workday look like for you?
A: I work the 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. shift, so I wake up at 5:30 a.m. every morning. This is my first job as a nurse. I’ve been here for two years. Like I said, I never know what I’m going to walk into when I get to work every morning.
Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
A: I absolutely love animals. I have 11 of my own: five chickens, three dogs, two fish and one cat. I also like shopping and goofing off with friends. My best friend, Sami Coffey, and I met here at work. We are literally together all the time because we’re here at work but we also hang out on our days off.