Today we’ve got a fun story of twin redhead nurses. Yep, you read that right: sisters Sarrah and Hannah Aycock both work at Brookwood Baptist Medical Center, part of Brookwood Baptist Health. Keep reading to learn why they love nursing.
Meet the Aycock twins
Hannah (above left) works in the cardiovascular unit, knows as CVSU. Sarrah (above right, with stethoscope), works in surgical intensive care, or SICU. Both work the night shift at Brookwood Baptist Medical Center.
The Aycock sisters are 2018 graduates of Cleveland High School in Blount County, 2020 grads of Wallace State, and both live in Hayden.
According to Hannah, the two have a lot of fun being identical twins:
“Sometimes we walk up to each other’s floors at the hospital and people will think we are each other. We actually switched places once in middle school, and nobody knew.”
Unfortunately, Brookwood would not let us work in the same unit because it’s a policy they have, but I think they also thought that we would confuse too many people.”
We caught up with them at Insomnia Cookies in Five Points South. Sarrah was kind enough to wear a stethoscope around her neck so we had a way to tell them apart. 🤩 Here’s what they had to say.
Yes, 2020 was a wild time to start a career in nursing
The sisters started their first jobs in nursing at Brookwood in September 2020. When I remarked that 2020 was a wild time to be starting a job in nursing, Hannah agreed, stating, “That’s what everybody says.”
Bham Now: What made you decide to go into nursing?
Hannah: I always wanted to go into healthcare. When I was 14, I broke my ankle at volleyball camp. I went to a doctor and followed his instructions, but it didn’t get better, and finally he said “you’re gonna have to live with this pain for the rest of your life.”
I don’t want anybody else to experience something like that, so if I can help prevent that, I want to.
Sarrah: When I was 18, I had a lump on my foot. The doctor didn’t know what it was, so they said “we’re gonna have to take it out.” I had my surgery at Brookwood for what ended up being a benign tumor. Before that, I was so scared of any kind of doctor’s office or the hospital. But the nurses and the doctors there were so nice, post-anesthesia care unit (PACU, or “recovery” care) nursing is what I ultimately want to do—that’s where people wake up from surgery.
Bham Now: How did you both decide that nursing was for you?
Hannah: We were in a trade school program in high school, and Sarrah was interested in education. She shadowed our school librarian our senior year of high school, and after, she said “I don’t really think that’s for me; I think I’m going to try nursing.”
A lot of it probably had to do with the fact that I was going into nursing too. We’ve always tried to stay close and do things together.
Bham Now: How did you get into your current specialty area?
Hannah: When I graduated, I wanted to do either ICU or maternity. Then when I saw this job, it said CVSU, and the job description mentioned open-heart surgery, so I thought that sounds awesome. When I had a clinical in nursing school in maternity and got to watch a C-section, I saw the guts out on the lady’s stomach and thought ‘this is so cool.’ I’ve never been bothered by gore.
Sarrah: I work in SICU, the surgical intensive care unit. We get people after any kind of surgery that’s not cardiac. I had clinicals there during my fourth semester of nursing school.
Bham Now: What do you like about working at Brookwood Baptist Medical Center?
Hannah: I definitely like that It challenges me. There are some days where I wonder if I’m really cut out to do this or if I’m smart enough. Then I have good nights where I think you know what, I chose the right field and I’m on the right track.
Everybody on my unit is super helpful and supportive. Even when I have a tough night, everybody on my floor is like “it’s okay. Everybody has nights like this. You just have to learn from it and move on. Just step off the unit. Take a few minutes to yourself.”
Sarrah: I like my coworkers a lot. Everybody that works there—from the respiratory therapists to the nurse practitioners—we all cooperate as a team really well. As a new grad coming into COVID, it was really stressful at first, but everybody looks out for each other.