A Q&A with registered nurse, Hallie Thompson, who volunteers for Heart to Heart International assisting patients at the Hope Faith Homeless Assistance Campus in Kansas City, Missouri, during the COVID-19 outbreak. Hallie resides in Overland Park, Kansas, and worked as an ER nurse at Overland Park Regional until 2018, when she became one of the nursing instructors at Johnson County Community College/Olathe School District, teaching the Certified Nurse Assistant program and other nursing courses to seniors wanting to get a head start on their nursing careers. In May 2020, she decided she wanted to focus more on clinical volunteer opportunities and spend time with her family. Hallie is married with three young adult children. She enjoys playing golf, tennis, pickleball, and is a frequent traveler.
Hallie has been with us at the Hope Faith Clinic since we started in April. This is the first time she’s volunteered with HHI. She provides free medical services at Hope Faith three days a week alongside another nurse and a provider.
What made you decide to volunteer with Heart to Heart International during COVID-19?
When COVID-19 hit the United States as a novel virus yielding to an international health crisis, I immediately was called to help. I challenged myself to figure out how I could be helpful to others with the skills that I had acquired as a nurse. In the beginning of March, when COVID-19 was officially labeled a pandemic, I realized that everyone has a role in this pandemic, and my role, as a nurse, is that I can help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and provide relief for those who have succumbed to the virus. Initially, I was compelled to travel to New York City to help with growing numbers of those afflicted with COVID-19 in the overrun hospitals. A fellow ER nurse reached out to me to travel with her to help. My desire to go and help was strong, but I knew there were opportunities to help in my own community, which lead me to Heart to Heart International and the call for volunteer healthcare professionals to serve at Hope Faith Ministries. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to put my skills and experience to work in a pandemic right here in my own Kansas City community.
What has your experience been like at the Hope Faith Campus?
In one word: Amazing. I thought I was coming to Hope Faith campus to serve others as a healthcare professional. Although I am able to serve others, I find that at the end of each encounter with our guests, I am more than fulfilled by our guest’s gratitude and hope. A simple act of caring in a clinical setting, returns an enormous emotion of appreciation from our guests at the clinic. The pandemic has revealed to me personally that there are many people in our community who can be helped with the simplest acts of a healthcare professional. The other day, we were able to help a client who had lost her blood pressure medicine. We were able to give her various medications, along with some essential items, and our client was moved to tears with her level of appreciation.
What is the biggest take away from this experience?
There are so many!! I have learned so much about working with patients who do not have access to consistent healthcare. I never knew a spice, cloves, can help with dental pain. I never knew that you can make a spacer for inhalers out of a water bottle. And most importantly I never knew that my experience at Hope Faith Ministries would be such great medicine for my soul. I will be forever grateful of my time at Hope Faith and working with their amazing staff that is so impressive in their resolve to help others in a time of need, as well as the opportunity to work with the awe-inspiring Heart to Heart International team of Sandy Turner, Jennifer Allen, Jim O’Brien, Carlo Jurani, Kathleen Stone, Lori Boyajain-O’Neill, Brittni Blasser, Heather Lee, Dr Richard Randolph, and Agustina Boehringer.
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