HSHS GOOD SHEPHERD HOSPITAL: R.N. Passes Her Nursing Hat to Her Daughter
HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital issued the following announcement on Sept. 7.
Peggy Chapman and Michelle Oliver are a mother and daughter who have made nursing a family legacy. In many ways, Oliver’s career mirrors her mother’s and HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital has a big part in that tradition.
Then known as Shelby County Memorial Hospital, Peggy Chapman began working as a CNA in 1975. She quickly developed a passion for care and wanted to become a nurse. In 1977, she took a year off and attended Lakeland Community College to pursue her LPN degree.
“In those days, nursing school was eight hours a day for five days a week,” Chapman said. “By then, I had a young family, too. I had a two-year-old daughter and a six-month-old little boy at home.
“In 1978, I returned to Shelby Memorial as a full-time nurse, and I wanted to work in the maternity ward, but I had to be an RN because only RNs were allowed to work there. Through a scholarship from the hospital, I was able to go back to school for my RN degree. Without that help, I never could have done that. I took classes through a satellite program from Olney Central College. It worked out well for me.”
She continued, “Soon after earning my RN, the hospital closed its maternity ward, but I did help deliver the last baby born at Shelby Memorial Hospital. I then began work in the emergency department and in the intensive care unit, which became my love. I became the house supervisor in 1987 and was promoted to be the assistant director of nursing in 1990.
“Medicine and health care have changed a lot over my tenure of service. Documentation was handwritten then and requisitions for orders or medication were in triplicate. Now our records and orders are all electronic. Patients who had surgery were admitted for a minimum of a week and more often than not, ten days. A patient could only have two visitors at a time then, and visiting hours were strictly enforced.
“When Dan Colby came as the administrator, he worked hard to advance the hospital. I saw the first CT and MRI come to the hospital. The first CT was a portable machine. Now, the hospital has a 64-slice, permanent CT – big changes since then. We didn’t have dedicated emergency department (ED) doctors then. The doctors who saw patients through the day rotated and took shifts in the ED. A doctor had 20 minutes to respond to an emergency room call. Now, the hospital has a doctor in the ED 24/7.
Chapman concluded, “Leaving Shelby Memorial was the hardest thing I have ever done. It was a difficult decision. I left to go elsewhere but Good Shepherd is still home when I visit.”
Michelle Oliver grew up walking the halls of the hospital with her mother. She was nurtured with hospital stories and hospital friendships. As a small child, her dolls received Bandaids® for their invisible boo-boos. She played nursemaid to those in her family, too.
“As long as I can remember, I always wanted to be a nurse,” Oliver said, “I can remember being three or four years old and asking my grandfather what was wrong. ‘Does your head hurt? Does your stomach hurt? Can I bring you an aspirin?’”
After high school, Oliver received a scholarship to play softball at Olney Central College, the same college where her mother received her RN. After graduation in 1997 from Millikin University with her BSN, she began her career with HSHS.
Oliver said, “I have been connected with Good Shepherd Hospital for a long time. I was born there. My family was treated there. Many of my family members have passed away here. It feels like I was destined to have a career here, too. I loved the idea of coming back to Shelbyville when I was given the opportunity to become the chief nursing executive. I always see a familiar face or discover familial connections to people I know.
“Some of the older doctors called me ‘little Peggy’ when I would first go to the medical staff meetings at Good Shepherd. I feel like my family legacy has served me well as I return to my hometown and home hospital. I had big shoes to fill as I chose my mother’s path, and I couldn’t be happier with how I have spent the last 21 years.”
She continued, “I’ve had good mentors, strong advice and great support. My goal as a leader is to guide and direct those at the bedside to always make patient care the center of everything they do.”
Her mother added, “I have had 40 years of nursing experience and I still feel it was a terrific career choice. Nursing is a calling of compassionate service, and I am very proud of my daughter. I have watched her serve 60 plus hours a week without a complaint. It isn’t a job, it’s a mission.”
Original source can be found here.
Source: HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital