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Honoring Our Community Nurses

Honoring Our Community Nurses

by Mary Beth TeSelle, Sponsored Content
This week Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital celebrates Nurses Week by honoring the nurses who carry on a legacy of caring through their dedication and commitment to the health and well-being of our community.

This week, Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital joins hospitals and health care providers around the country in celebrating and honoring the men and women at the front line of health care — nurses.

Nurses Week is commemorated annually from May 6 to May 12, in connection with the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the original professional nurse.

SNMH Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive Lori Katterhagen, DNP, RN says watching nurses work continues to inspire her.



“In my 28 years of practice as a professional nurse, I have been very blessed to see the power and influence nurses have with patients and families,” Katterhagen says. “And Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital has some of the best!”

As part of the hospital’s Nurses Week celebrations, Katterhagen wanted to share a special glimpse into the world of the nurses who care for our community.



“I would like to share the stories of some of our registered nurses at SNMH who make an impression and touch lives every day,” she explains. “I asked them three questions and got some amazing answers. I am so grateful for their words and their commitment to caring for the community. And I want to wish all of our nursing staff a happy Nurses Week! Thank you for all the work you do!”

What is the best part of being a nurse?

Brenda Haynes, RN, Ambulatory Treatment Center: I love caring for my patients and my community!

Amanda Blackman, RN, Emergency Department: It’s being able to save people’s lives. It’s having a big impact and making a big difference in somebody else’s life.

Lisa Gonzalez, RN, Family Birth Center: The best part of being a nurse is being able to help people in my community. I am in a position where I get to meet all of the new babies as soon as they’re born. It’s so exciting and it’s so much fun and it leaves a lasting impression on me and on the people I work with.

Michelle Waddell, RN, Surgery Department: My favorite part about being a nurse is you get to be a part of the team and work with other great people in health care.

Lis Palomba, RN, Intensive Care Unit: The best part is being in a respected, helping profession.

Rainy Greensfelder, RN, Med/Surg Unit: It’s establishing relationships with patients and caring for them to the best of our ability.

Carrie St. Thomas, RN, Telemetry: The best part is making a difference in people’s lives, helping them during their worst time, and providing comfort to my patients and their family.

Why did you become a nurse?

Brenda: From the time I was little, I never knew anything else of what I ever wanted to be. I went into nursing school the long route, as a CNA to LPN and then RN. I am so proud to be a nurse. I always felt it was the right fit, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Amanda: I had dreams when I was a kid of becoming a ski patroller when I grew up, so I went to EMT school and then worked as a ski patroller. I wanted to become a paramedic and go to paramedic school and one of the patrollers that I worked with was a fireman and he said why don’t you become a nurse? You can always work on an ambulance if you want but you have other options.

Lisa: I actually wanted to become a nurse because I had my child at a very young age and I wanted to make that experience something better and more exciting for every mom that I possibly could. I had to put myself through school and fight every bit of the way but I am so proud of that.

Michelle: I became a nurse because I spent a lot of time in the hospital when I was a child. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when I was 9 and it was the nurses who really determined if I was going to have a better day or a not-so-great day.

Lis: It was a calling. I knew in kindergarten that I wanted to a be a nurse.

Rainy: I believe strongly in the value of service to people in the community.

Carrie: My sister was in an accident and I witnessed a nurse in an ICU that judged her and did not treat her as well as she deserved. I went into nursing because I knew I could do better.

What do you want the community to know about nursing?

Brenda: That we will always be there for people at any time.

Amanda: I wish there was more respect for nurses. We are out there every day saving lives.

Lisa: That we are here to make your hospital stay the best experience that it can possibly be. That is our goal and it is what we strive for every day.

Michelle: We are people just like everyone else and we want to do our best to serve the community around us.

Lis: We work hard and we take patient advocacy seriously.

Rainy: That nurses are extraordinary, dedicated and hardworking.

Carrie: Nurses truly care for your friends and family, and we give them all the love we can.


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