Friendship, food, even frog legs bring a smile to Lynn's face
Lynn Wenners, MSN, RN-BC worked in Nursing education in both a clinical and academic setting and as an ICU nurse before joining CCHC as the director of clinical education.
What was your very first/most interesting job?
I worked in an international gourmet bistro. It was a place that combined selling international foods and serving fresh and imported delicacies. We sold things like chocolate-covered frog legs, chocolate-covered bumble bees. Don’t laugh! I would totally get skeeved out touching the containers when I was putting them on the shelves.
The only thing I liked was when we restocked the Godiva chocolate case.
It was on the waterfront in Plymouth. It was called Montrose (Interviewer: Is it still there?) Heck, no! [laughing]
My boss there was a bit older, but we went to nursing school together. We worked together, actually! Isn’t that weird? Fun. Fun stuff. We’re still good friends.
What are you most excited about?
Most excited? I’m most excited about everyone getting vaccinated and everyone having a sense of peace and relief -- some sort of normal. It’s exciting to me, though it’s a little uncomfortable.
I was walking into a soccer game outside last weekend and I was the only one wearing a mask. Other people were there without a mask and they were all so comfortable. I kept it on. I want that feeling of being safe in public.
What’s your prized possession?
Life, in itself, is a prized possession. If anything, working on the front lines in the ICU shows you that. Material things can always be replaced but you can’t replace human life.
What’s your hidden passion/talent?
I think a lot of people don’t realize I’ve been an artist since I was little. I sketch and draw and do calligraphy. If I’m feeling overwhelmed and anxious, I start sketching. It helps me reset myself and clears my head. I don’t do it enough. I tend to reach for it when I feel overwhelmed.
What do you keep an emergency supply of?
Snacks -- [laughs as she munches on Goldfish] -- and hand sanitizer. I remember when everybody was home in my house at the start of COVID and I was working in the ICU. Since I was out, my husband would ask me to pick up supplies. I couldn’t find toilet paper, hand sanitizer, snacks! People wiped the place clean!
Now, I have a whole storage area in the basement. A plumbing problem wiped some things out, but now I keep supplies.
What are you putting off at the moment?
We have horses and one thing we had been planning to do is to take the horses to a state park and ride. I’ve been procrastinating because I feel like I’m still tired from COVID and I haven’t caught up yet from the last year.
My daughter is 15, I feel like now is the time to do things like this. I don’t want to procrastinate and put it off anymore.
What life advice would you give people?
Always treat others how you want to be treated. That’s always my life advice. As an educator, sometimes you have those difficult conversations with nurses or other caregivers.
I’ve said, “How would you feel if this is your mother or loved one?” I use that reflection because it brings people to reality. If it feels good, it is good. If it doesn’t, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it.
What’s your best high school memory?
I have a life-long friend I went through childhood with. We’ve been friends since we were three years old. We were neighbors. We grew up and actually worked side-by-side in the ICU together.
She’s the best thing. Every life moment we lived together. This past year was so surreal. We look back at the events of the last year and working side-by-side, it was incredible.
That friendship is endearing, to be together through it all.
What’s your favorite time of day?
I’m a morning person. That first moment of waking up and hearing the birds and seeing the sun come up… I’m wide awake by 5 a.m., no matter what. Even on my worst days when I’m extremely tired, I’ll get up and sit on my front porch.
What’s the next thing on your to-do list?
Eat lunch! I’m very food-oriented! [laughing] I’m in love with this sandwich from a local place. I copied their ciabatta roll -- it’s pesto, mozzarella and arugula and tomato. I love it. So good!