Jes Earhart

Child Health, Nursing | one year ago

A Family Affair

Health care is all in the family for Jes Earhart. Her mom was a nurse who spent the last few years of her 50-year nursing career at an Atrium Health urgent care. Jes has worked at Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital since it opened 15 years ago. Her nursing journey has inspired both her daughter and stepdaughter, who are now also working at Levine Children’s!

As is true at many locations across Atrium Health, families are at the center of everything we do at Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital. Patients are treated like family. Patients’ families are treated like family. And teammates are treated like family.

But for these three Levine Children’s teammates, family is not just a figurative way of describing coworkers, it’s a literal description!

Jes Earhart was first hired in a cardiac intensive care unit as a new nurse graduate in 1992. She began her career at Atrium Health 22 years ago, caring for both adults and children after heart surgery. When Levine Children’s Hospital opened 15 years ago, she chose to focus on pediatric heart patients and is a dedicated member of our intensive care team – work that inspired her daughters.

“In kindergarten, we had a career day, and I wore my mom's scrubs and her badge to school,” says Emily Earhart. “Even as a young child, I saw my mom as a hero and someone who I wanted to be like. As I grew older, I could see that my mom was one of the most selfless humans and changed so many lives throughout her career.” Levine Children Nurse

As a health care technician on the 6th floor at Levine Children’s Hospital, Emily helps nurses on the floor with things like bed changes, dressing changes, transporting and more.

“I make sure everything is stocked and checked to make the nurses have easier shifts and wherever I am needed is where I go,” Emily says.

Emily’s ultimate goal is to be an intensive care nurse just like her mom.

Her stepsister, Emma Davis, always loved science and though she contemplated a career in nursing, she ultimately fell in love with respiratory therapy. Emma is in her last semester of respiratory therapy school at Stanley Community College and is doing her preceptorship in the pediatric intensive care unit at .

“My bonus mom, Jessica, has always encouraged me and inspired me in so many ways,” Emma says. “Jes has shown me that being a light for someone during one of the darkest times of their life is a feeling like no other. Health care is so much more than checking off boxes on a task list for 12 hours. It is giving your all to a patient even when it gets tough.”

Mom’s the Word

It’s a full circle moment for Jes. The guidance she now provides for her daughters reflects what she learned from her own mom, who was also a nurse.

“My mom had the most tender, giving, and loving heart. She inspired me to be who I am today.” Levine Childrens

Jes’s mom, Geraldine Chismar spent much of her career in the emergency department, but later focused on geriatrics as a Medicare home health nurse and even owned her own nursing business, JOY (Jesus, Others & Yourself) Nursing Service. She spent the last few years of her career working at Atrium Health Urgent Care – Huntersville before retiring after 50 years of nursing.

“Throughout her life she was passionate about helping people,” Jes says. “As a single mother, my mom showed me the power and diversity of nursing as a career that was rewarding and could support her family.”

That passion and drive inspires all three women in their work to care for the youngest of patients.

“The thing I find most rewarding for me as a soon-to-be respiratory therapist, is that I have the knowledge and ability to help someone breathe,” Emma says. “When someone is struggling to catch their breath and you are able to use your knowledge to open up their airway and allow for them to breathe, it is a feeling almost as good as how they feel when they can breathe normally again.”

Supporting Each Other

“Nursing is challenging,” Jes admits. “It is long hours on your feet, lots of new and changing technology. It is working weekends and holidays and missing your kids’ games and competitions. It is 12-hour shifts and giving your all to help someone survive an illness or injury only to hold their hands and comfort their families when they do not survive.”

Seeing one another in the halls of Levine Children’s Hospital provides all three women that little bit of extra support that helps fill their cups and in turn allows them to provide their patients with the same love and support they feel.

“Working with my mom is awesome,” Emily says. “She has always been my best friend and biggest supporter and getting to work with her makes me feel much more at ease. It is also cool getting to finally see my mom in action as a nurse and see the impact she has made on so many people.”

“Working alongside her for any amount of time is an honor,” Emma says. “I am blessed to have the relationship that we have. We are constantly learning from each other at home and at work.”

“Working with my girls fills me with joy,” Jes says. “I get to hear the excitement in their voices as they relay new knowledge to me. I get to see their faces as something they have learned about in school makes sense during practical application. And I get to impart some of my knowledge to both! Watching them blossom and pursue the careers they are passionate about fills me with joy!”