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Sun, Oct. 20

Labor Day: Variety keeps Rowden busy in ER

KINGMAN – Brad Rowden said getting into nursing “was the best decision I ever made.”

The 32-year-old emergency room nurse at Kingman Regional Medical Center was born and raised in Kingman. He was born at the hospital he now works at.

“My brother and I were in construction, and we decided to do something else. We sold the business in 2006-07. That era started to have a downturn. We started looking for something more stable.

“I went into (emergency medical services). I started out as an (emergency medical technician). I was an EMT for about a year, then I became a paramedic. That put me in close contact with the emergency room.

“So I met all the nurses and saw what kind of job they did, so I went from being a paramedic right into nursing school through Mohave Community College,” said Rowden. He then went on to earn his bachelor’s degree from Grand Canyon University.

He said he “loves” his career and his work schedule. He works three 12½-hour shifts per week, which allows for plenty of family time with his wife and two children, ages 5 and 18 months.

Rowden says he likes the variety in the emergency room. No day is ever the same.

“We get them, we stabilize them. We determine whether or not they need inpatient treatment,” said Rowden. The patient is either sent upstairs or they are okay to be discharged and then follow up with primary care.

When asked about the biggest challenge he faces on the job, Rowden says he has to wear a lot of hats. He said the other day he was attending to an 89-year-old patient, a 12-day-old patient and a psychiatric patient – all at the same time.

“They all have different needs and different levels of illnesses,” said Rowden.

“It’s always difficult to deal with dying children. When you have little ones yourself, that’s hard to deal with,” said Rowden, who plans to go back to school to earn his masters in nursing.

“There is a certain amount of detachment that some ER nurses feel. I know I feel that way. When I have a baby who’s not breathing on a gurney, I can’t look at them and say, ‘This is a 12-day-old or 12-month-old who’s not breathing.’ I have to say, ‘This is a patient who needs certain things done immediately.’ Otherwise it’s too exhausting.”

Rowden continued, “Most of us take a very matter-of-fact approach of ‘This is what we need to get done immediately.’ We get it done and I try to get away from those patients as quick as I can just so I don’t have that social attachment to them.”

“It takes a tremendous amount of focus,” said Rowden, who said he was proud to work in a good setting.

“I’m very impressed with how this hospital handles its patient load. For a small community, our performance is comparable to others in the state. I stay here because the people I work with,” Rowden said.

When asked what he would tell people thinking of a career in nursing, Rowden said, “There’s always a significant need for nurses. For a strong, confident nurse, there’s always job opportunities.”

“It’s a great job. I wish I would have done it years ago,” said Rowden, who said it has provided a “steady, healthy income for me and my family.”

While in the ER breakroom, a lady interrupted the interview and said, “Brad, your patient is bleeding.”

Rowden was off to provide assistance.

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