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Barbara Smith has been a nurse since 1981, gaining new education and work experiences, seeing changes through the years and loving it all. She is currently the assistant Chief Nursing Officer at Carroll County Memorial Hospital.
She grew up with three nurses in her family.
“My mother was a nurse and worked here from 1980 to 1997,” she said. “She taught me a lot. She taught me to treat everyone like they are your own family, to give them that same caring.”
Smith became a CNA in 1981 and became a registered nurse in 1997. She has worked at CCMH a total of three different times.
“I keep coming back,” she noted. “I love my job.”
In her position at CCMH, she oversees the ER and is an Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support instructor. She also works in the ER and enjoys working as a nurse on the floor when she is needed.
“The most gratifying part of my job is when a patient or their family says ‘thank you’,” she said, “when they reach a point when they are better, and I have been able to help.”
She has also seen a lot of changes in her field since she began.
“Mostly, more computer skills,” she noted. “There are constantly new developments and progress in treatments, research, new theories.”
She recalled the recent STEMI drill that she participted in, with new concepts of treating heart attack patients.
“The sooner we get them to a cath lab, the less chance of loosing heart muscle,” she explained.
Smith gives credit to her co-workers for a great part of her job satisfaction.
“This is a really good crew to work with,” she added. “Their caring for patients makes my job so easy. They try to go the extra mile.”
Although the nursing field has been a rewarding for her, Smith has advice for anyone contemplating a career in the medical field.
“Try it out first,” she said. “It’s a very rewarding field but no one should go into it ‘blind.’ Talk to doctors or nurses, investigate the field you’re interested in.
“Ask if you can do job shadowing, to get a feel of what you will have to see and do in a job.”
Smith was recently honored at CCMH for being Nurse of the Year 2012.
“That came as a big surprise,” she said. “We are like family here, and that’s what makes my job so much easier.”
The nursing field will carry on in Smith’s family as her daughter is taking classes to become a surgical technician.
by Janet Zullig