Riley Nurse’s Secret: ‘Patients Help Me As Much As I Help Them’

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Holly Langston watched Riley nurses save her little sister’s life. They were amazing. Now, she strives to be just like those nurses.

Holly Langston feels a sense of pride when she tells people she is a nurse at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health. And she should.

Langston, who started at the hospital in 2009 is known as a standout nurse at Riley -- a nurse who overloads patients and families with compassion and kindness.

But, Langston says, the amazing thing for her is those patients affect her life just as much as she affects theirs. She adores them. They help her.

We asked Langston, who works on 7West (infectious disease, gastrointestinal, rheumatology, neurology and more) to fill us in on her career at Riley.

What led you to nursing? “Riley saved my little sister’s life. She now has Type 1 diabetes, but at the time we didn't know. My dad thought she had the flu and she wouldn't wake up one morning and was rushed to Riley where we found out her blood sugars were so high she had gone into a diabetic coma.  They told us all we could do was pray.  She overcame a lot after the diagnosis and lifestyle changes that come along with being diabetic and the nurses just made such an impact on me as I watched them everyday.  I knew that I wanted to be able to make that same impact on patients and families one day and what better place than Riley?"

Favorite part of being a nurse? “Helping my patients and their families get through what is, most likely, one of the most stressful times in their lives. Sometimes, they help me just as much as I am helping them. I feel so blessed to be able to be a part of Riley and help make a difference one patient at a time.”

Memorable patient story? “It’s hard to pick just one. I would say one of my favorite things is after a patient is discharged home and they keep coming back to visit you on the unit time after time. And being able to see them not as a ‘patient,’ but how great they look and feel is such an amazing feeling. Sometimes, they have grown so much over the years, it can be hard to recognize them.”

What personality traits make up an awesome nurse? “Compassion, caring, loving, gentle, empathetic, kind, flexible, knowledgeable, good judgment, good communication, patience, calm and confident.”

Best way to calm down a scared patient: “Child life (specialist) hands down. If she is not available then I just try different techniques based on the patient.  Every child is different.”

-- By Dana Benbow, Senior Journalist at IU Health.

   Reach Benbow via email or on Twitter @danabenbow.

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