by Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer
Rosemary Helderle is a Licensed Practical Nurse at AllianceHealth Deaconess Hospital. With a bright smile and personality to match, I knew the Rehabilitation Unit was the perfect place to find Rosemary working; caring for others. It takes a special kind of person to work with the patients and Rosemary shows a real concern as she assists a patient back to their room.
The purpose of Rehabilitation is to restore some or all of the patient’s physical, sensory and mental capabilities that were lost due to injury, illness or disease.
Rosemary spent some of her earlier years in Pennsylvania, where she spent a lot of her time teaching and mentoring to multiple nurses. “I love to teach others,” she said. “I still teach and mentor some of the nurses. I think I will always have a little bit of that ‘teacher’ in me,” she says with a smile. Rosemary has spent 44 of those years doing what she loves to do; taking care of others as a nurse. “It’s the job I love to do,” she says. “I can’t see doing anything else.”
I asked Rosemary why she became a nurse and if anyone had any influence on her decision. “Oh, ever since I can remember, I wanted to help people. I must have been 18 or 19 years old when I knew I wanted to be a nurse. I set my goal and made it. I decided to become a nurse on my own and knew I would carry through with it,” she commented.
“What advice would you give to someone if they wanted to go into the medical field?” I asked Rosemary. With a definite, positive answer, she replied, “I would tell them to set their goal high and go for it. A nurse has to be caring, understanding, patient, be a listening ear, and be helpful to anyone that needs help. It’s the little things that count and they all add up to being a nurse,” she replied. I have a feeling that she had just described herself because the qualities that she listed for a good nurse were shining through.
“What is the favorite thing about your job here at AllianceHealth Deaconess?” I ask Rosemary. “I have to say I like, no, I love taking care of the patients. Here in Rehab, we take care of all different ages, young and old alike. The staff that I work with is great. We all work together as a team and that makes a big difference. I have to give a shout out to our manager, Lori Stewart, RN, BSN. She is wonderful. We all want the best for our patients. We will all go the extra mile for someone and we always get the job done. We work together and we do our best.”
Asking Rosemary what her greatest reward about her job was, she replied, “I would have to say when our patients comes back after they have recovered, and tell the nurses, ‘thank you’ for helping them get better. That is a true blessing. It’s not like we have to hear it or anything but it makes us all feel so good if we get praised for doing what we love to do. It gives the nurse and patient a special bonding and it is really nice when we can communicate and understand each other.”
A typical day at the hospital varies day-to-day for Rosemary. “Sometimes, our days are so hectic; we can’t seem to catch our breath. Other days, we seem to be moving in slow motion,” she says with a laugh. “That is when we don’t have that many patients,” she adds. “Also, I am one of the few nurses here, maybe the only one that continues to wear my nurse hat. You know, the little white hat?” she asks me. “Oh, I don’t have it on today so you won’t get a picture of me wearing my hat,” she adds with a laugh.
When Rosemary is not working, she likes spending time with her husband. Her hobbies include arts and crafts, working out at the Y and gardening. “They are all very relaxing to me,” she says. “I don’t like to miss out on any of them.”
A big thank-you to nurses everywhere for giving your time and tender loving care to patients. What would we ever do without you? THANK-YOU!