Some of the victims of Hurricane Katrina were this RN’s fellow nurses. He knew he had to help. Here’s his story.
When James Bowers’ shift ends at the West Virginia University Hospital, in Fairmont, W.Va., his work is far from finished. A true giver of time, he dedicates countless hours as a volunteer to help care for those in need. He is a strong supporter of Camp Kno-Koma, a weeklong summer camp held in West Virginia for children with diabetes. And when victims of Hurricane Katrina were sent to West Virginia’s Camp Dawson, Bowers kept working full-time at the hospital and volunteered at the camp to ensure that everyone’s medical needs were met.
Following Hurricane Katrina, Bowers collected personal items, scrub suits, uniforms and money for nurses who had been affected by the storm. He then took another week of his vacation to volunteer at a medical clinic housed in a church in Mississippi. While there, he delivered medical supplies to the community and made house calls to those who were unable to make it to the clinic.
Bowers has also held many important positions in professional organizations in his field. He was the first male nurse to be elected president of the Association of Operation Room Nurses of North Central West Virginia and was later chosen as the Orthopedic Special Assembly newsletter editor and the national chair of the Trauma Special Assembly. He was asked to participate in the Membership Task Force for the national Association of Operating Room Nurses and to be on a committee to promote nursing to high school students. Bowers was also asked to help assess questions for the certification exam of operating room nurses on behalf of the Competency and Credentialing Institute.
“I like being a nurse because there is nothing more rewarding than knowing that I’m helping someone or their family,” said Bowers. “I would recommend my profession to all young people, both male and female.”