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Betty Humphrey

Betty Humphrey 1993 Finalist

Betty Humphrey, RN
PRN in Intensive Care Unit
St. Thomas More Hospital

Betty started working at St. Thomas More Hospital in 1974, fresh out of college, and says she has had a wonderful career there.  Betty began her nursing career by attending what was then Southern Colorado State College (SCSC) where she received an Associate of Arts degree in Nursing.  Her mother is a retired RN. She and Betty have over 69 years of nursing experience between them both and they enjoy comparing nursing experiences and practices. Betty started on the Medical floor on nights. As a new graduate she could identify lethal arrhythmias so she was asked to relieve the ICU nurses during breaks. Ultimately she spent 18 years in the ICU, managing the unit for 8 years. She also has experience in home health care, as a resource nurse on a Med/Surg floor, in PRN supervision, in the Emergency Room, and now PRN in ICU - Same Day Surg -Pain clinic PACU. Her heart is in education and she loved her five years as a staff educator.

"I think you need to touch people. And keep talking to them like they are alive, and not dying. And not as if you think they have some awful prognosis, because you are basically alive until you aren't. And there could be a lot of time passing between those two (prognosis and death).   That makes patients feel human and not like an item. Patients come to the hospital. You strip them down. You put them in your clothing. And you but them in your beeps and honks and buzzers and monitors and catheters and IVs and things. And all of the sudden they have lost their identify. Part of hospital culture now, well you really don't get to know these folks unless you take a little time to find out what kind of interests they have and families they have and beliefs that they have. So that's what does it. A little art as opposed to so much technology." ~ Betty on what "excellence in human caring" means to her

"What inspires me as a nurse? Education. Learning. Leaning more. Doing something that makes that difference. Knowing something that makes that difference. A lot of the nurses I work with are young and inexperienced. We are always building up from the back side. So any time that I can impart something that makes their nursing produce more quality care of their patients, that's a real hoot." ~ Betty on what inspires her

"I enjoy my family tremendously and we spend a lot of time together. My mother will be 90 this August. She graduated from her nursing school in 1940 so it's always fun to talk shop with her. I listen to the kinds of challenges SHE had. You know the fact plastic didn't even exist when she was a nurse. Kind of hard to believe now with everything being so disposable. She talks about having to scrub the bed pans and boil the catheters. Things that now days you would never even conceive of." ~ Betty on how she takes care of herself.

Note: Betty promises that a photograph of heself as a young nurse will be forthcoming!

Read the rest of Bett's story...

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