The past year has created challenging times, especially for those in the healthcare industry. Even with the extra responsibilities and stress, healthcare professionals have not missed a beat. They have handled the challenges and pressure within their healthcare facilities and communities while juggling normal patient care and needs. This week’s healthcare hero did all the above while also serving a dual role as a nursing director and nurse practitioner. Congratulations to Trish Annetts with Monument Health, Custer Care Center for being SDAHO’s next healthcare hero. The healthcare hero campaign is designed to recognize and celebrate healthcare professionals across the state.
Trish serves as the nursing director for the Custer Care Center through Monument Health. Trish is also a nurse practitioner within the same facility. She was nominated to be a healthcare hero by her colleagues who say even those she is constantly juggling many different responsibilities and wears different hats, “she has definitely been there for the community and the organization.” – Kim Cowan, Monument Health
Trish began her nursing career with Monument Health in 2004. Her career took her to other locations off and on through the years, but Trish returned to Monument Health in 2017 and has worked for the Custer Care Center ever since. “I have worked many areas of healthcare and long-term care is such a passion for me. I get to do what I love to do and form a bond with others who may not have family members to visit.”
Helping her newborn son is what prompted Trish to enter the healthcare industry in the first place. She was a young mother, and her son was born early, weighing only 3 pounds requiring him to spend some time in the NICU. “I was a scared mom who did not know what I was doing. My son came home on an apnea monitor. The way the nurse took her time to show me how to perform CPR, monitor the machine, care for my son in such a compassionate manner was amazing.” Trish decided then to begin her training to become a healthcare professional. She remembers the way the nurse cared for her son with such compassion. Today, Trish strives to show that same compassion to the patients she serves.
Trish says the most rewarding thing about working in health care is the residents and the team she works with. “To go home at the end of the day and feel like you did something, or you were able to help others is the most rewarding aspect of healthcare.” Trish also says without her team, she is just a person standing alone. While healthcare has many rewarding moments, Trish says there are also a few aspects of her job that she considers her favorite. “Each day is a new day, and every day is never the same. To see a smile on someone’s face or to know that I made someone’s day just by sitting and visiting with them is one of the things I like best about my job.”
COVID-19 has significantly impacted how healthcare is provided, especially for folks like Trish and the residents she serves. “Trish has worked day in and day out during the pandemic and put her life on hold to be there for the residents and staff. It does not matter where she needs to fill in to help, she jumps right in and does what needs to be done for the facility.” – Kim Cowan, Monument Health
Trish says the hours fighting the virus to protect residents and staff and the restrictions of families visiting their loved ones was heartbreaking. Her colleagues say Trish has been the rock in the facility, where most the residents and staff tested positive for the virus. Trish says the pandemic allowed her to show her team that nobody fights alone. “It taught us we are never too tough to cry when we get stressed or lose a battle. It taught us we are tougher than we thought, and we ever could be.” Trish recognizes the pandemic is not over and she continues to use the lessons learned over the past year. “Being on the frontline of this pandemic really shows that things can change in the blink of an eye. Experiencing how this pandemic has changed so many lives makes me want to try harder to be there for residents and families.”
Many of today’s healthcare professionals are being recognized for their selfless work ethic and dedication to their patients, including Trish. When asked what she thinks about being called a healthcare hero, “I don’t consider myself to be a hero. I consider myself lucky to be able to do what I love daily.”
Trish Annetts, thank you for all you do and congratulations on being SDAHO’s Healthcare Hero.
If you know someone that is a healthcare hero and would like to nominate them, visit us online and nominate them today. https://sdaho.org/heroes/