Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer
Integris Community Hospital OKC West is where you will find Hiedi Huntley, RN. Hiedi had the privilege of opening ICH from opening day. “It’s pretty amazing to open a new hospital and watch it grow and see its effect on the local community. The change from a very large, busy ER to a small Community ER has been an adjustment but one I am loving. It has given me the chance to slow down and spend quality time with my patients again, something that I could not always do at the busiest ER. We see a wide range of patients in the Community ER. Working here at Integris Community Hospital has given me the opportunity to fine tune skills that I did not necessarily use while working at OU, for example, taking care of the pediatric population. I love that I am still learning and growing,” Hiedi commented.
Hiedi graduated from Rose State College in 2013. She is currently in a BSN program through Western Governors University. “My goal is to earn my Master’s Degree in Healthcare Management and Leadership,” Hiedi said. (story continues below)
“I have worked in the medical field in some capacity since 1997. After graduating high school, my plan was to major in Special Education and I took the first medical job as a CNA at The Children’s Center. It was there that I fell in love with the nursing world. I’ve had many jobs from CNA, AUA, CMA, Cardiac Monitor Tech to my current career as an RN. I think working under several titles gives me a unique outlook on the importance of teamwork within a department or system,” Hiedi said.
“My first job as a Registered Nurse was at OU Medical Center in their Level I Trauma Emergency Department. I knew my first day of nursing school that I wanted to work in the ER. I love the hustle and bustle, the organized chaos, the puzzle of it all. Working at OU provided me with a vastness of knowledge and experience beyond what I could have imagined. My second year working at OU, I accepted the Supervisor/Charge Nurse position in the ER. This position is one that I will forever cherish. It molded and challenged me as a nurse and a leader and helped me to grow tremendously and to recognize my career path in Healthcare Leadership,” Hiedi added.
“I also consider myself very lucky to have had an incredible mentor, Laurie Gummerson. She has been with me since day one of my RN career. She has supported me and fostered my growth into leadership. I have tried to mirror her example to be a mentor to new nurses as well. I hope that I have inspired others, the way that she continues to inspire me.”
Hiedi explained how being a nurse can be bittersweet. “Being a nurse can be a most rewarding experience. Yet, it can be stressful, regardless of the field. Personally, it is the support of my two families that get me through it all. My family that is at home sacrificing because I am not there and the family that is working by my side through the trenches. I have been truly blessed to have worked with some of the most amazing physicians, nurse, techs, and paramedics. They have all taught me so much. I am a better nurse because of them.“
Asking Hiedi to describe herself, she replied, “I think if you would ask my fellow coworkers to describe me, many would say that they call me, ‘Yo Mama!’ I have a tendency to nurture and protect. Nursing is truly a calling. I feel honored that it is mine.”
“COVID-19 has presented us all with new obstacles and emotions that we as a generation have not faced. Here at OCH, we count on our teamwork and collaboration to take the utmost precautions for not only the patients but the staff and all of our families. Together, we will see it through.”
On a personal note, Hiedi has been married to her wonderful husband, Brandon for nineteen years. They have two teenage daughters Kelsie, sixteen and Aubrey, fifteen.
“We love animals and right now we have four dogs, two bunnies and two guinea pigs,” Hiedi said with a smile.
A treasured memory for Hiedi…”My grandmother was a nurse and she and I shared a bond of a love for medicine. My mother actually pinned me with my Grandmother’s nursing pin at my nursing graduation.”