The Dart: Sunday is rest day for Natchez nurse

Published 12:01 am Monday, August 27, 2007

NATCHEZ — Ira Scott may have been relaxing in her Wood Avenue home Sunday, but the rest of the week she works hard to help others.

Scott, who works with heart patients at Natchez Community Hospital, is a nurse.

By her own account, the dream of becoming a nurse wasn’t a lifelong one, but as soon as she got a taste of it she knew it was the life for her.

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Scott graduated from the Alcorn School of Nursing three years ago, but she gained her first experiences in nursing at Reed Medical Clinic in Natchez.

“I started there in the ninth grade,” she said. “I first applied there for a job for the weekend, maybe to work football games and things like that,” she said.

And though she was first hired as a receptionist, it didn’t take her long to realize she wanted to work with patients, she said.

Doing most of her work with geriatric patients who have suffered a heart attack, stroke or some kind of chest pain, Scott said she realizes her job is more than just a job.

“It’s a calling,” she said.

When a lot of people hear she is a nurse, they often react to the thought of having to deal with some of the less pleasant aspects of health care, Scott said.

“People say, ‘Oh, you have to handle blood,’ but it’s so much more than just handling blood or cleaning a patient up,” she said.

“You need to be there for your patients and let them know you care,” she said.

Scott also works with the home health provider Mississippi Home Health.

Part of her job with Mississippi Home Health is to do a full assessment of patients and help determine their needs.

“I determine if they might need physical or occupational therapy,” she said. “The goal is to help make patients as independent as possible.”

Helping people reach the goals of health and independence are what drives her, Scott said.

“I am dedicated to whatever needs to get done as long as I am helping people,” she said.