Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | February 14, 2019

Unbreakable Connection Keeps Deployed Colleague Close

April Wilson, BSN, RN, a nurse in the Duke Raleigh Hospital Operating Room has been serving with the United States Air Force on a deployment overseas for nearly a year. Although thousands of miles physically separate her from her colleagues, their strong support helps her feel close to the team.

“Being away from your coworkers can lead to anxiety when returning to work, with new team members, new procedures and practice changes,” said Patty McKenna, a surgical technologist IV with the OR. “We want April to know she’s one of us, and we can’t wait to have her here with us again.”

The team frequently sends gifts and letters to April and the rest of her air force unit.  They even adopted her family for the holidays, purchasing gifts for each family member.

“It’s important for us to let her know that we’re always thinking of her, and that she’s not alone on her journey,” said Tunisha Mosley-Galbreath, MSN, RN, CNOR, CNIII, the clinical team lead. “She’s a part of the team, and she has colleagues back home who are there for her no matter what.”

McKenna said there’s an unbreakable bond between the team and April, which she feels especially strongly as a veteran herself.

“April and her family, like so many others, are making a sacrifice for our country,” she said. “Our goal is to give her a feeling of belonging and support for that sacrifice. We have an unspoken, unbreakable bond between us.”

“I’m so thankful for everything my OR family has done for me,” Wilson said. “It’s a wonderful feeling knowing there are so many at Duke Raleigh making sure I’m cared for. I look forward to the day I return home, and to my work family.”

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