Nurses week: Dale Medical Center nurses share their journey

Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 7:33 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - It may nearing the end of National Hospital week, but these health care workers jobs do not stop. This week News 4 has been celebrating these front line workers by featuring nurses around the Wiregrass. Ending the week by sharing the story of two nurses at Dale Medical Center in Ozark.

“Getting them over whatever illness they might of had to go home and live and be with their family,” Shelley Aho, LPN, said.

Aho began working in the medical field in 1983. She said since she began, health care has rapidly changed.

“Medicines for the most part and what we are able to do as nurses take on more and more of the role as far as that goes at the bed side for the patients,” Aho said. “We tend to do more now than before.”

Growing up, Aho said she helped care for her grandparents which made her recognize she wanted to be a nurse.

“I enjoy what I do,” Aho said. “I enjoy coming in and seeing the improvement.”

Especially with COVID patients.

“We’ve had several that weren’t sure if they were going to pull through and they do and its just like, ‘Oh my gosh, I cant believe they made it through there and that I had a helping hand in that,” Aho said.

Caring for people is also what inspired RN Olivia Ortiz.

“I decided I was going to be a nurse and I was going to help people and that meant whether they just had a cold or they were on their last couple of days,” Ortiz said.

She began her career just six months before COVID hit.

“I wanted to help people,” Ortiz said. “This is one of the hardest times they ever have to go through, being in the hospital and in last two years they have been alone doing it and I went into nursing school so I could help people and make a difference in somebody’s life.”

Ortiz said this job can be challenging when patients get severely ill.

“But it’s nowhere near as hard for me as it is for them,” Ortiz said.

But in the end -

“It’s incredibly rewarding,” Ortiz said. “We’re here to do a major thing in people’s lives and just to never forget that when you’re caring for somebody even when you are burnout and you’re tired and you’re exhausted, we’re here to make them feel better, to make them better.”

Keeping this in mind.

“Never forget why you are doing it,” Ortiz said.

News 4 would like to thank all healthcare workers.

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