Lisa Tolbert, a registered nurse at Redmond Regional Medical Center, has worked for 16 years in the intensive care unit. She said she doesn’t mind working on Thanksgiving.
“It’s really not bad,” she said. “I understand, and we as nurses understand that there’s always a need 24/7 for care of the patients, so you adjust your life to it. You just adjust and you celebrate (the holiday) another day with your family.”
But it’s not all work and no play. The hospital does provide a traditional Thanksgiving meal, and nurses will usually bring food items from home, she said. But Tolbert said she is thankful to be able to spend the Thanksgiving holiday serving and taking care of her patients.
“If you think about it, there are sick people all the time who need your care,” Tolbert said. “It’s gratifying to take care of patients and their families. It’s difficult for the families to have a loved one in the hospital. It’s more stressful, but we know when we leave we can celebrate with our families. You’re thankful for many things, but you’re thankful to be able to help the patients and their families.”
Floyd Medical Center’s Heyman HospiceCare will have a full nursing staff along with social workers and physicians providing care today.
The social workers will be answering phones and making visits to the hospitals. The Thanksgiving meals include a turkey and ham dinner, sides and a dessert.
“Some people who aren’t able to eat, we just take (the meal) to the person who provides care because they may not get the opportunity to have a meal because they can’t leave their loved one at home,” said April Camp, physician and community liaison with hospice.
“Our patients needs don’t stop just because it’s Thanksgiving, and we don’t either,” said Kimberly Butler, social worker for hospice.
Clint Satterfield, a physical therapist at Redmond, said he thinks holidays are slower than normal business days at the hospital.
“It’s usually not too bad on the holidays because people don’t usually elect to have surgery on holidays,” he said with a chuckle.
He said his wife is also in the medical field, so she usually works holidays as well. His other family members are very cooperative and the Satterfield clan will actually have Thanksgiving dinner later in the evening when he is off work.
“They’re very flexible,” he said of his family. “Also, when you go into health care, you know the hospital never closes, so it’s kind of part of the deal.”
Staff Writers Lauren Jones and Brittany Hannah contributed to this report.