by Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer
Riley Williams, RN, works in the ER at Mercy Hospital and is also a Firefighter for the Piedmont Fire Department. Both jobs require excellent medical skills and quick-thinking action in emergency situations.
Riley has been a nurse for 16 years. “I have always enjoyed helping others any way that I can. It was when I was in college that I was interested in going to nursing school. After becoming a nurse, I worked in Oncology, Med- Surgical and a few other areas and then started working in the ER. I like working in the ER the best; it’s the critical patients and I feel like I can help the patient in need in the fast pace of the ER. I stay calm and can handle the life-threatening situations when the unexpected happens.”
What did you want to be when you were little? “Actually, I never even thought about being a nurse. I always wanted to be a firefighter or a policeman. When I was in high school, my aunt worked at Mercy and I had an opportunity to work as a CNA. Things grew from there and now I know I was preparing for the job of an RN and a Firefighter was meant for me,” Riley replied.
Riley said that his biggest asset at work is his experience in the medical field. “Since I have been a nurse for 16 year, I feel like I can help the new nurses coming in. I feel like I can guide them and mold them into better nurses, helping them along if I need to.”
Asking Riley to describe himself, he replied, “I am a go-getter and like to stay busy. I have three boys and they are typical boys, going in different directions at the same time. I am an RN in the ER at Mercy Hospital, working 12-hour shifts. My other job is serving on the Piedmont Fire Department. I started out as a volunteer at the fire department but now, I work when needed. I enjoy both jobs and feel like I am doing what I am supposed to, helping others.”
Who influenced you to go into the medical field? “When I was growing up, I grew up around a lot of nurses. I thought it was a very respectable profession and I always looked up to those in the medical field. Little did I know those nurses from my past would influence me for the rest of my life. Now, I can’t image doing anything else.”
When asking Riley if he had received any awards or recognitions lately, he said, “I feel like I am at a good place at Mercy and I am fortunate to be there. I just received my 15 year award pin in September, 2018. The new nurses that come in look up to me for advice and that makes me feel good about myself and my experience.”
“Regarding the fire department, I was one of 343 firefighters doing the OKC 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb at the Chase Building; we climbed the 110 floors to honor the FDNY 343 and to commit to the promise of ‘Never Forget.’ This was my second year to do the stair climb and it is really a great feeling. I will continue to do it every year as long as I am able,” Riley commented.
Asking Riley what advice he would give to someone going into the medical field, he said, “I would tell them to take education seriously. Retain as much information that you can, especially in clinicals; hand-on-hand experience will come in handy. Listen and learn and don’t give up! It is all worth it and you will be happy that you stuck with it.”
Life stays busy for Riley. “Working at Mercy ER and being a firefighter for Piedmont Fire Department can get a little hectic at times,” he said. “I try to spend as much time as I can with my wife and our three sons, Luke – ten, Logan – eight and Lane four. Of course the boys are into sports, etc. My youngest one says he wants to be a firefighter like me,” Riley remarked. “I will always inspire my kids to be anything they want to be,” he added.
Riley’s hobbies include fishing, hunting, golfing but most of all; he enjoys spending time with his family. When asking Riley to sum up his life in one word, he said that it would have to be “BLESSED”.