Nurse Hobbies: Putting Stress on Ice

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Surprise! Nurses are real people behind their masks and scrubs.

Carving out time to pursue a hobby, like playing 토토사이트, can help them beat burnout and promote self-care, but some nurses enjoy hobbies that are a bit more unusual than others.

Ice fishing is the key to relaxation and de-stressing for Jackie McManus, a nurse in Nascentia’s homecare practice working in Oswego County.

“Most people think of ice fishermen as grumpy old men,” McManus said. “Everyone thinks of it as being so cold. I have an insulated shack and wear warm gear, so I stay warm fine.”

Though a lifelong angler, McManus began ice fishing about eight years ago when friends introduced her to the sport. At first, she feared going through the surface as the ice naturally—and harmlessly — creaked and groaned. Once she became accustomed to the ice fishing environment, she was as hooked on the hobby as the walleye and perch she pulls to the surface.

“I had a ton of fun,” she said. “It was peaceful. When I started going more frequently, I got more gear and started going more by myself, although the ‘buddy system’ is important: fishing near someone.”

In addition to the necessary gear, she usually brings along something to nibble on while waiting for the fish.

“An older guy I’ve ice fished with calls me ‘Snacks,” she said. “I bring sweets, chocolate, Goldfish crackers—all kinds of stuff.”

Although her propensity for noshing on the ice earned her a teasing nickname, “the other people ice fishing always come over to my shack and ask, ‘What have you got; we’re hungry!’” McManus said.

It pays to be prepared.

She enjoys catching her daily limit of walleye, perch, bluegills and croppie, “I keep my daily limit and sometimes will share them with patients — cleaned and filleted” — if they ask her.

Her Instagram handle is “Fishing Nurse,” a testament to her two life interests. She completed her LPN through a program at Delaware Chenango Madison Oswego BOCES 10 years ago. Through Cayuga Community College, she earned her RN credential and she is working on her bachelor’s degree at Western Governor’s University.

She has also progressed in her fishing acumen and qualifications. Two years ago, she obtained a New York State guide’s license and began taking anglers on trips through Irish Knots Sportfishing in Pulaski.

“We’ve had some trips with kids included,” McManus said.

She has also led ice fishing seminars for high school students through the Shane Pinard Future Fisherman’s Foundation in Canastota. The seminar shows all the gear needed and the basic techniques.

Sometimes her patients notice her pendant shaped like a fishhook and spark a conversation about fishing.

“In Oswego County, there are a lot of fishermen,” McManus said. “We get a common ground. It comes in handy.”

In addition to building trust and commonality with patients, ice fishing benefits McManus personally. While out on the ice, she can both spend time with others—if she wants—or relish quiet time by herself.

“If I can fish every day, I fish every day,” McManus said. “Sometimes, I can go before and after work. That’s part of why I love home care.

It’s very flexible.”

She wants nurses to find hobbies that help them relieve the stress they experience every day.

“You have a lot of pressure on you so it’s important to try to balance that,” she said. “Fishing is hands-down the best way for me to forget about life for a while. It’s peaceful. Sometimes, you can get set up before the sunrise. It’s beautiful.”

Featured images: Jackie McManus, a nurse in Nascentia’s homecare practice working in Oswego County. When it’s cold and she is not working, she uses her time to ice fish. Her Instagram handle is “Fishing Nurse,” a testament to her two life interests.