RVHS nurses honored for compassion, care

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 22, 2000

Patty Gleichauf, RN, has spent a lifetime surrounded by health care.

Monday, May 22, 2000

Patty Gleichauf, RN, has spent a lifetime surrounded by health care.

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As a child, she accompanied her father, Dr. Burton Payne, as he made house calls. Soon, the childhood wonder at her father’s healing touch and medical skills turned to a determination to help others, too.

As part of National Health Care Month, Mrs. Gleichauf is one of several nursing professionals honored by River Valley Health System in Ironton for their professionalism and caring.

"My interest in health care truly is family related," she said. "My grandfather, A.J. Payne, was a surgeon here, and I remember hearing him tell such wonderful stories about taking care of people. Of course, my father was a big influence, too."

But, the influence didn’t stop there.

Two of Mrs. Gleichauf’s aunts were nurses, and she recalled seeing one wear a nurse’s cape ­ a short, navy blue cape traditionally worn by nurses several decades ago.

"I really thought the cape was great," she said with a laugh.

She began her health care career in 1977 as a nurse’s aide at the former Lawrence County General Hospital. Soon, Mrs. Gleichauf knew she wanted more in-depth training, so she enrolled in nursing school at Mt. Carmel in Columbus. Within the next year, she was back home with her registered nurse diploma proudly in hand.

"My grandfather, father and aunts were always helping other people, and that warmed my heart when I saw people feeling better," she said. "It was a wonderful day when I became a registered nurse because my grandfather and dad always told me that nurses were special people."

Her first nursing experience was in obstetrics-gynecology, and she said there was tremendous joy at being present when new babies were born. However, once she married and began her own family, it became a challenge to juggle changing shift times with her personal duties.

"I always loved surgery in school, and I loved watching (the late) Dr. (Dean) Massie do C-sections. I was always impressed by his surgical skills," Mrs. Gleichauf said. "That’s why in 1983 I moved to surgery."

That love of surgery has continued to grow in the 17 years since then, and she gives credit to the "fine surgeons and nurses who have been my role models" at RVHS.

"Although the technology has changed drastically in surgery through the years, the goals are still the same ­ to restore health," Mrs. Gleichauf said. "The new technology has allowed us shorter hospital stays with the same end results, but the caring we as nurses give remains the same."

Since entering the nursing profession, she has seen an expanded role for nurses, but, Mrs. Gleichauf stressed, nurses never stop learning.

Other nurses honored this month at RVHS in Ironton and Portsmouth as well as the RVHS Home Health Agency include Ruth Abler, Diane Adkins, Susan Aliff, Nancy Allen, Carolyn Bailey, Sherry Bare, Sybrenia Bates, Susan Beaumont, Pat Bernthold, Sandy Bester, Mary Blankenship, Tina Blizzard, Les Boggs, Nancy Bowling, Suzanne Bradford, Pam Bradshaw, Nancy Brown, Teresa Brown, Linda Buchanan, Brenda Bundy, Lillie Burchett, Ruth Burnett, Patricia Cantrell, Brenda Carmon, Bobbie Carver, Johnda Collins, Diane Corn, Linda Cron, Margaret Culver, Dorothy Cutlip, Joyce Daniels, Christa Daniels, Rhonda Deboard, Eva Delawder, Eleanor Dickess, Leonda Faulkner, Brenda Fields, Debbie Fisher, Barry Frazee, Angela Fritz, Janice Gosselin, Rhonda Heaberlin, Sandra Hensley, Jane Hibner, April Hipes, Paula Holbrook, Brenda Hosey, Judy Houston, Cassandra Humphrey, Carolyn Hunley, Elaine Jenkins, Judy Jenkins, Lisa Jenkins, Jean Jenkins, Tammy Johnson, Vickie Johnson, Hui Suk Jones, Jean Kelley, Helen Kidd, Carol Lambert, Marcia Lambert, Kim Lavender, Stephanie Lewis, Susan Lewis, Joni Lewis, Connie Lowe (director of nursing), Rhonda Lumpkins, Vickie Lunsford, Patricia Mahon, Anna Malone, Rebecca Mannon, Helen Martin, Connie May, Lois McAdams, Teresa McClain, Maria McGraw, Linda McGraw, Paula McKee, Terry McKinney, Billie McKnight, Diane McKnight, Mary Medinger, Heather Miller, Toni Moore, Linda Moul, Mary Mullins, Linda Myers, Tracy Newcomb, Linda Nixon, Virginia Payne, Lisa Pennington, Patty Pratt, Ruth Raison, Aimee Rawlings, Regina Redman, Susanne Riggs, Pamela Rister, Constance Robinson, Susan Rouse, Kristina Rowe, Susan Sammons, Nadia Samokovski, Mildred Sesher, Floye Sherman, Cynthia Siebert, Amanda Sites, Matt Sloan, Maria Smallwood, Melissa Stewart, Tara Strait, Doris Taylor, Rita Townsend, Esther Triplett, Toni Vulhop, Carolyn Waddle, Judy Wain, Nita Watts, Mary Webb, Andrew Whaley, Sherry Williams, Pam Willis and Molly Young.