Registered nurse Nancy Chaney, center, of Jay, is flanked by her daughters, both nurses, Hillary, left, and Hannah. Submitted photo

Nancy Chaney is a nurse just like her mother before her. Two of her four children, Hannah, 25, and Hillary, 27, have followed them into the field.

There is a good chance if you end up in the emergency room at Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, you will get to meet the three women, all of Jay, who have a  passion for helping people in emergency medical situations.

Nancy graduated from Central Maine Community College in Auburn in 2000. Her mother graduated from the same college, just known by a different name, Central Maine Vocational Technical Institute.

Hannah became a registered nurse in May 2017, with her associates degree, and went on to earn a bachelor of science in nursing degree in March 2019. Hillary became a registered nurse in early May.

The Chaneys continue to strive to gain more medical knowledge.

When did you know you wanted to be a nurse?

Nancy, 54:  I decided to be a nurse after having children. I was so impressed by the nurses that cared for me.

Hannah: The eureka moment for me was my junior year in high school. I had a friend who cut the tip of his finger off with a pair of scissors on accident. Everyone around him was panicking, and I just knew what to do, and I was able to keep calm. That moment made me realize becoming a nurse, like my mother and my maternal grandmother, was my calling.

Hillary: Nursing isn’t something that interested me at first. I remember mom coming home from her shifts, seeing how exhausted she was, but also seeing how much she loved what she was doing and decided I wanted to give it a whirl.

Is there a specific field of nursing you are interested in?

Hannah: Emergency nursing is where I thrive. I love the adrenaline, the quick critical thinking, and the fact that every day I go to work, I’ll see something different or new.

Hillary: I currently work in emergency medicine, which is the department that has interested me since Day One. Having to use my critical thinking skills, the unknown of what could come in, and the adrenaline from atmosphere are some of the things that make me enjoy it so much.

Nancy: I have always wanted to be an Emergency Department nurse. I worked on MS3 the first 2 1/2 years and the rest have been in the Emergency Department and then 2 1/2 years in my current role as clinical coordinator.

What is your favorite part of being a nurse?

Hillary: When people come to see us they are typically scared. So, one of my favorite parts of nursing is when we are able to ease their fears and scared feelings about being at the hospital. Another favorite is knowing that the patients trust us to take care of them and be their advocates.

Nancy: I love being in the Emergency Department and also the clinical coordinator because I get some of everything. I love the adrenaline of the Emergency Department nursing and not knowing what comes next. As clinical coordinator I get to support the nurses in all the departments and learn something new almost every shift.

Hannah: When someone takes the time to look me in the eye and truly thank me, for providing care to them or their loved ones.  That’s when I know I made a difference in their lives.

How do you wind down after a trying day at work?

Nancy: As far as winding down, I love to knit, crochet and sew, but have recently added gardening and am loving the peace I find watching things develop and grow.

Hannah: I typically listen to loud music on my way home. I work swing shift, so there’s not often anything else to do when I get out of work except to go home, sleep and prepare for the next day. On days off, I like to read.

Hillary: Well, I enjoy a glass of wine after a busy or long shift. But I also enjoy just coming home to my dog who always puts a smile on my face.

Is there any special achievement or memory you would like to share?

Hannah: As an ER nurse, there are many moments that have helped to shape me into the person and type of nurse that I am today. There’s nothing in particular I can share, without breaking HIPAA regarding memories that strongly resonate with me. I will say, I am proud to have achieved my (certified emergency nurse) this spring. It’s a really cool experience to say to a patient, “Hey, this is my sister” when she helps me with something, or “Hey, this is my mom.” People seem to think it’s pretty cool that we all work together.

Hillary: I think completing nursing school in itself is such an achievement! It’s crazy to look back and think, wow, I finally did it. It’s also crazy to think about because I had to finish it and take my state exam during a pandemic.

Nancy: There are so many memories and they have all worked toward change and growth throughout the years. Some patient experiences just stick with you and they make you better.

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