4/26/19

Calming nurse embraces women when things don’t go as planned

Kathryn Lowe, RN, BSN, takes care of others and has since she was a little girl. Right from the start, she went where needed.

Her talents and interests led her to pursue a career in nursing. She participated in job shadowing in high school and took on after school jobs caring for elderly family members and family friends. Even then, she knew she always wanted to be a nurse at Carle.

“Carle is known throughout the community for providing excellent care. When you or a loved one is sick, you want to go to there because you know you will receive great care,” Lowe said.

She started working at nursing home but her true calling was with moms and babies. Eventually, she supported Labor and Delivery. Today, the busy mom of two walks expectant mothers through trying times at Carle Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM).

Carle is seeking to hire full-time nurses to care for the region’s moms and babies.

Maternal Fetal Medicine provides care for higher-risk pregnancies including twins and triplets, older women and those with preeclampsia and babies with genetic disorders.

“We partner with the surrounding areas to navigate patients with a high-risk or complicated pregnancy to achieve the best possible outcome,” said Joni Schenkel, MSN, RN, director, ambulatory Women’s Services. “As the region’s resource for the most complex cases, we stand ready.”

According to Lowe, all it takes is the desire to help others and a willingness to learn.

“You are entrusted with the care of a family’s greatest gift – their baby. It is a great responsibility caring for this vulnerable population,” she said. “Throughout pregnancy, we work hard to build strong relationships with them and take pride in the excellent care we provide.”

Lowe said her main role is keeping calm, providing reassurance and being clear about how the team can help.

“When you get pregnant you have this expectation that everything is going to be perfect –pregnancy, baby, life. While the vast majority of the time things do work out fine, this is not always the case,” Lowe said. “When I started working with moms and babies, I realized how very quickly things can go wrong. When unexpected problems arise in pregnancy, our team is there to provide guidance and direction for families.”

And Lowe is constantly learning.

“Transitioning from the hospital to the clinic I was worried I would somehow be ‘less’ of a nurse, but working in MFM, I have been able to expand my knowledge base and have grown into a very well-rounded nurse.”

Lowe travels to sites throughout the region, bringing services to moms in Decatur, Effingham and Mattoon.

She finds the work rewarding and the work-life balance even better.

“Even though my husband and I are incredibly busy working full-time and raising two teenage daughters, being at Carle has allowed us to achieve a nice balance,” she said.

Lowe values weekends off to spend time with her family. The family swims in their pool, volunteers at their local Kingdom Hall, travels and attends sporting events.

“Even though our girls keep us busy with their active social lives, we love every minute of it. Our girls are incredible, and we are proud of the young ladies they are growing up to be,” she said.

The same growth she enjoys daily at Carle.

“My love is babies and moms and thanks to my job as a nurse at Carle, my life and career are exactly what I want them to be,” she said.