Future nurse receives lesson in bedside manner in Manatee County | From the Observer

MTC instructors, Manatee Memorial nurses bring “pinning ceremony” to hospitalized student.

It was the kind of thing Alexis Moss only had seen in movies.

She had been confined to a hospital bed with a severe case of the flu and pneumonia for nearly a week. When Moss, 22, walked for the first time again Jan. 21, she followed the nurse’s instructions down one hallway and then the next wearing her hospital gown.

Then she saw it: a room filled with balloons, flowers and a cake, just for her.

Manatee Memorial Hospital’s nursing staff and her instructors at Manatee Technical College made sure she would not miss her pinning ceremony for completing MTC’s practical nursing program.

“I was speechless,” Moss said. “It was the type of thing you see in movies when you see great things happen to people. It really happened to me.”

Shannon Moss gives the nursing pin to his daughter, Alexa Moss, from the conference room in Manatee Memorial Hospital’s intensive care unit. Courtesy photo.

MTC nursing instructor Frankie Bailey and career counselor Kathy Matthews were there. Her family had arrived too, and they were ready to begin. Her father, Shannon Moss, presented the pin in front of her family and about dozen hospital employees.

Bailey said for nurses, the pinning ceremony is more special than the graduation ceremony, so she was happy everything came together. She had been wondering how to accomplish such a feat when a nurse from Manatee Memorial called about bringing the pin to the hospital.

“It goes to show nurses really do care about each other, and we want to raise the young nurses up being proud of the profession,” Bailey said.

Moss was admitted into Manatee Memorial Hospital with the flu Jan. 15 and was confined to bed until Jan. 21, when she started to feel better. She would not be able to attend graduation and receive her certificate of completion without finishing her coursework, so her boyfriend, Dylan Clark, brought her last assignments that night. Then Moss got to work.

She submitted her assignments the following morning, Jan. 22 — the day she would have participated in MTC’s scheduled pinning ceremony.

Moss was released later that day, and on Jan. 23, she delivered one of two student speeches during MTC’s winter graduation ceremony to about 150 students graduating MTC’s various programs.

“None of that would have happened had she not persevered,” Bailey said. “She did it. We didn’t do her any favors. She went through a really difficult time. For her to persevere, I think that speaks volumes as to the kind of nurse she’s going be.”

Moss said she had never been hospitalized before, and when her body ached from the flu, some nurses moved her gently while others were less sympathetic. She said the experience gave her valuable insight into the perspective of patients.

Moss still has to take her state licensing test — hopefully sometime in February — and hopes to focus her nursing career on psychiatric mental health.

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