Nurses Week: Jim Campbell, going above and beyond for Dickinson County cancer patients

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DICKINSON COUNTY, Mich. (WJMN) – It’s Nurses Week, a time to recognize and thank those who help contribute to keeping our communities safe and healthy. Many of them go above and beyond their duties like Jim Campbell, an oncology RN at Dickinson County Healthcare System.

“It’s a great time to reflect on all nurses and particularly someone like Jim who has dedicated his career in helping patients get through some of the most difficult challenging times of their lives,” said Susan Hadley, VP Clinical Services and Population Health, Dickinson County Healthcare System.

Jim Campbell from the Norway/Faithorn area has been a registered nurse for 16 years.

“Well I was finishing up my bachelor’s degree in biology at NMU and I didn’t have any real leads on a job so I started taking some nursing classes towards the end of my degree and I thought it was pretty interesting,” said Campbell. “And then after I got my biology degree I went on to school for nursing.”

Campbell, a husband and father of three children works as an oncology nurse for Dickinson County Healthcare System.

“When you’re treating cancer patients it takes that extra compassion and the ability to form relationships because this isn’t a one time visit,” said Hadley. “You’re with cancer patients over a long journey.”

As Campbell explains, when you’re working with people’s livelihoods, it’s more than a career about medicine.

“A patient told me one time that you are the one that peeled me off the walls when I was starting cancer treatment,” said Campbell. “And by that she meant took away her anxiety. The first treatment date for a cancer patient is sometimes the scariest day of their lives and that’s when I can just sit down and be human and be a friend to the person and help to take away some anxiety just by giving them knowledge about what’s upcoming. I don’t really have a magic wand or anything. Just let them know that it’s not going to hurt and they’re going to be able to get through it.”

“I had a lot of hours of contact with Jim,” said Loretta Faymonville, cancer patient at Dickinson County Healthcare System. “Six to eight hours, four times So you know that’s a lot and he was consistently nice and friendly and cared and totally and went out of his way to make me comfortable and to take care of my every need.”

Faymonville of Felch went through those six to eight hours of chemotherapy four times for endometrial cancer between the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020 and Jim was by her side each time.

“One time when I came in, I had another medical issue outside the chemo and instead of telling me well you’re going to have to take care of that somewhere else in the hospital or schedule an appointment somewhere, he actually contacted all of the personnel that were needed and had them come in and actually work on my problem while I was doing the chemo,” said Faymonville. “That is spectacular and over and beyond the call.”

When asked if he would do this all over again, Campbell said, “Definitely. I think when I was in school I envisioned myself working as a forester or wildlife biologist or something outside. I do enjoy nature, but I’m glad that I got to work in this field because I feel like I’m helping people a lot more than I would have been doing something working outdoors. And I do feel that it’s a calling. I never dreamed of being a nurse and sometimes I’m still surprised that I am a nurse, but I’m glad to be a nurse.”

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