Nurse of the Day Instructions
Thank you for choosing to be a Nurse of the Day at the Capitol. You should receive an email confirming the date you will be serving. If you do not receive it within 3-5 days of submission, please contact the ONA office: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 405-840-3476. If you have any questions, please let us know! Below you will find instructions for being Nurse of the Day. The instructions include the time to arrive and reporting for duty, parking, your responsibilities as Nurse of the Day, and the opportunities you will have that day. Following the instructions, there are answers to some FAQs (frequently asked questions). Other helpful links can be found in the Right Navigation Pane on this page. If you have any questions at all, please call or write to the ONA office. We are here to help you get the most out of your day at the Captiol.
- A quick note about dress codes (a frequently asked question): Please dress professionally by wearing uniforms (with a scrub coat or white coat) or business attire; please do not wear t-shirts/jeans or other casual "street” wear. When you speak as a Nurse of the Day, you are speaking for all nurses in Oklahoma, and it is important that we are viewed as professionals.
Thank you for volunteering for NOD and representing the Oklahoma Nurses Association (ONA) and the nursing profession. We hope you will enjoy your day, while providing nursing care and visiting with your Legislators and other Capitol employees.
Capitol hours are 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. or until House and Senate complete the day’s business. The First Aid Station is in Room 428C, State Capitol Building and needs to be staffed at all times except for lunch and during the beginning of the session, when introduction are made in Chambers. However, there is a paid emergency medicine staff person who is responsible for seeing that the station is staffed. You should sign in on the register for the day and notify that person when you leave and where you will be. It is important that you spend some time in the first aid room; however you also should get out and talk with your legislators, attend committee meetings of interest, promoting legislation ONA is supporting, and watch the legislature in action.
It is also beneficial if you review The Oklahoma Nurse, the ONA website www.oklahomanurses.org, local newspapers and other sources that discuss the status of various bills prior to your day in order to be versed with current issues. ONA Lobbyist, Vicki White-Rankin will keep an updated folder in the First Aid Station of all bills ONA is supporting as well as other printed materials. When serving as NOD, you will have unlimited opportunities to talk with various persons about legislation and probably influence some of the perspectives.
- The First Aid Station is provided as a service to the Legislatures, capitol staff and visitors by a paid emergency staff, volunteer nurses and physicians of their respective associations. The services at the First Aid Station are primarily for first aid/emergency care. An employee of OU Medical Center as well as volunteer nurses and physicians are available for emergencies, coverage, relief, and information.
- If the First Aid Station is not open when you arrive, contact the House Chief Sergeant-at-Arms at the entrance to the House Chamber on the fourth floor to unlock the door.
- A Sergeant-at-Arms will assist you at the start of the day and escort you to the House and Senate. For non-medical supplies, contact the House Sergeant-at-Arms.
- A file containing the name of each legislator, name of family physician, chronic ailment and/or regular medication or treatment is available. A card file is established for other persons appearing at the First Aid Station.
- Professional dress is required, however, no scrubs please. An ONA name tag will be provided for you and will be located in the desk drawer in the First Aid Station. Please return the name tag to the desk drawer at the end of the day for the other NOD participants.
- Over the counter medications and supplies are available. Please be sure to bring your personal stethoscope. The physician is encouraged to bring his own bag.
Your Service as Nurse of the Day is Valued
- A designated parking space for NOD is available on the East side of the Capitol, labeled "Nurse". If you are a student or non-member nurse, please park in the general parking. If you have any trouble finding the parking space, please look for the House of Representatives Sergeant (parked in the grey/silver or white van).
- There is a snack bar on the 4th floor. Call the Sergeant-at-Arms if coffee and water are not delivered to the First Aid Station by 8:30 A.M.
- If you want to set appointments, send information or messages to your Legislators, Pages are available to pick up and deliver these messages to the Legislators while you are staffing the Station or while you are on the Chamber floor. Pages are located at the back of both Chambers.
- Visitors to the First Aid Station will provide many genuine "thank yous” for the care you provide.
You will be introduced in the House and Senate Chambers by your Legislators during the sessions and presented with a personalized certificate of appreciation. You will be provided with the House and Senate Journals for the day which includes legislation to be discussed. Acquaint yourself with this material and discuss it, and any other nursing concerns, with your Legislators.
- Please complete and mail this "Press Release” form to your local newspaper within at least 10 days after serving as NOD. The ONA office will notify your Legislators the week prior to inform them that a nurse from their district will be serving as NOD. It is very important that for some reason you are unable to attend that you notify our office at least 3 days in advance to inform all appropriate parties of the change.
- Your responsibilities are two fold and each one is equally important: To help staff the First Aid Station and to lobby the Legislators. Please arrange desk coverage times with the staff person.
- The nurse will provide routine first-aid measures and may issue over the counter medications. All serious injuries or illnesses should be sent to the appropriate physician or hospital. You or the physician will determine whether the client should be accompanied or not. For emergencies, call Capitol Security at extension #2104. Security will contact EMSA and direct them when they arrive.
- On occasion, a physician is unable to serve. If a physician is not present, and assistance is needed, contact the First Aid Station.
- Legislators and their families may have medications and treatments continued at the First Aid Station and should bring a written order from their local physician for the medication or treatment. All medications must be properly labeled. Each Legislator has been notified of this procedure.
- The nurse and the physician will sign their names in the Log Book. The names of all persons reporting to the First Aid Station should be listed and all treatment and medication should be recorded on their health record either in their file or on their card. Indicate only general information on the log since that document is visible to any person entering the room. The physician is responsible for signing the orders for medications or treatments in the Log Book and the individual record card.
Other Information of Importance
If you have a recruit member or a non-member nurse serving with you, remember only ONA members may officially serve as NOD. When students are serving as a recruit member, they are there to observe and learn about the legislative process only. We encourage their interest and participation as observers. Follow this link to view the Student Guide for Nurse of the Day.
The typical day in the First Aid Station includes blood pressure checks, taking temperatures, handing out band-aids, and dispensing decongestants, throat lozenges and aspirin. Although, you may feel that your talents are underutilized, those that you serve will genuinely appreciate your care.
Thank you for serving as Nurse of the Day. In the event it becomes necessary for you to cancel or reschedule your reservation for Nurse of the Day, a 3 day notice would be greatly appreciated. If you have any questions or concerns, contact the ONA office at 405-840-3476 or email email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can be Nurse of the Day (NOD)?
Any ONA member can be NOD. Students (at any level of study) may accompany the NOD. A student observes the NOD and learns more about the legislative process through visiting with legislators and attending committee meetings with the NOD. There is no designated parking place for the student NOD.
- Why should I be NOD?
First, it is a great experience! You are honored by an introduction on the floor of the House and Senate Chambers and given a certificate of recognition. You have the opportunity to visit with legislators on the chamber floor. (During legislative sessions access to the floor is reserved to a few privileged people, like you as NOD!.) You get a sense as to the respect and appreciation nurses have as you will hear this often while you are there. You will learn more about the legislative process than you can from a book. Lastly, you will be a voice for nursing and advocate for health care for the public.
- What does the NOD do?
A typical day includes blood pressure checks, taking temperatures, handing out Band-Aids (especially on Mondays when the high school pages are wearing their new shoes), and hand out over-the-counter medications such as decongestants, pain relievers, and throat lozenges. These are readily available in the First Aide Station.
More importantly, you will be the voice for nursing at the Capitol. You will be given information on bills ONA is supporting and have the assistance of the ONA lobbyist, Vickie White Rankin, and ONA CEO, Jane Nelson, in talking with legislators and attending committee hearings. You will have a chance to actively participate in the making of laws that affect nurses and your patients.
- How will I know what bills ONA is following?
On our website is a list of bills ONA is tracking and we will email you a packet of information ONA lobbyist, Vickie White Rankin, and ONA CEO, Jane Nelson, will most likely stop by to help direct you in talking to legislators and going to committee meetings. You may also check the ONA web site before you come to get information on bills ONA is following.
- Will I be expected to give emergency or complex care?
No. As most of the care is simple first aide. There is usually a Doctor of the Day and a paid RN with emergency medical experience to assist you in care. The paid staff is responsible for the general operation of the Station.
- How will I know the specifics of what to do?
ONA will notify you a couple of weeks before you serve with all the details. If you still have questions, you can call ONA. (405-840-3476).
- How will my legislator know I am coming to the Capitol?
ONA will notify your legislators so your name can be printed in the daily journals and certificates of service to be presented by your Representative and Senator can be completed. If you do not know who your Representative and Senator are, you can find your legislators by clicking here. You can call your legislators the week before you are scheduled and remind them you are coming and ask when it would be a good time to see them while you are there. Most likely you will talk with their legislative assistant. Don’t be discouraged. Legislative assistants are very important in gaining access to the legislators and it is good to get to know them. When ONA sends directions for serving as NOD you will also get a press release you can complete and send to your local newspaper.
- What happens if I volunteer and something comes up so I cannot serve?
Call ONA as soon as you know you cannot come so the appropriate parties can be notified.
- Can I really do this? Am I smart enough? If you are smart enough to have graduated from a nursing program, passed State Boards, and join ONA, YOU CAN DO IT!
If this is not on your Bucket list, IT SHOULD BE! Sign up and check it off your list. You will be glad you did.
- OK you have convinced me – how do I sign up?
Click here and sign up online (Sign up will be open in February). ONA will send you an email with instructions and date confirmations.
Thank you for being a nurse, and for participating in the Nurse of the Day program! You are making Nursing in Oklahoma Positively Possible!