Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 1, 1999
employee of quarter
By JAINE TREADWELL
Published Aug. 1, 1999
The guest of honor was missing and the show couldn’t go on.
The employees of Edge Regional Medical Center gathered Thursday afternoon to honor the employee of the quarter but she was no where to be found.
Doris Robinson was busy with a patient in the intensive care unit. She would have to miss the celebration. She had more important things on her mind.
With some strong encouragement, Robinson gave in and made her way to the cafeteria to applaud the winner of the prestigious recognition.
David Loving, hospital CEO, was unable to make the presentation a surprise. Every clue was a giveaway, so he just announced the Edge Regional Medical Center employee for the second quarter of the year, "Doris Robinson."
"When he said 26 years, I thought it had to be me," Robinson said, laughing. "I was surprised and honored. Other than having my children, I think this is the best thing that has ever happened to me."
Congratulations were in order and, if Robinson was surprised, her co-workers didn’t seem to be.
"We all know what an exceptional job Doris does, every day," Loving said, "and we all appreciate that. She is a strength of this hospital."
A strong recruiting effort for nurses captured the interest of Robinson when she was a senior at Ariton High School.
"There wasn’t a whole lot of money in nursing but the job market was wide open so I decided to give it a try," Robinson said.
She attended nursing school at George C. Wallace Community College in Dothan and received an associate degree in nursing. After passing state boards, she was licensed as a registered nurse.
Two days after graduation, Robinson started work at Edge Regional.
"This is the only place I’ve ever worked and the only place I’ve ever wanted to work," she said. "This hospital has been good to me and I hope I’ve been good for it."
Robinson started her nursing career as a medical-surgery nurse then moved to a relief supervisor on the 3 to 11 shift and then worked as a supervisor on that shift. In 1976, she went to the day shift and then to the ICU unit where she is now the manager.
"I love ICU," she said. "The greatest joy of my work comes from seeing sick people get better and to know you had some input into it."
Robinson said she often comes in contact with people who have been in ICU.
"People will come up to me and say, ‘I don’t know if you remember me but ….’ and I may not remember their name but I remember them," she said. "Every patient is important and I don’t forget them. When your lives touch like that, it stays with you forever."
Robinson completed a four-year nursing degree at Troy State, thanks to an incentive program offered through the hospital.
She could have gone to a bigger hospital but she’s happy at Edge.
"Some people think bigger is better but that’s not always true and it’s not true with our hospital," she said. "Because we are small, we can give more personalized care. In ICU, you work so closely with the families of patients and under very stressful circumstances and I know people appreciate the personal care we are able to give."
Robinson said because of the nature of her job, she has to be prepared to deal with death.
"You have to put it in a context where you can deal with it," she said. "It’s okay to cry and it’s even okay for the patient’s family to see you cry but you’ve got to be able to hold up your end of the deal. You might want to go kick a bucket later but you have to deal with it and handle it in a professional, caring manner."
Right now, Robinson can’t see herself leaving ICU. "I’d miss it too much. We’re like family in here and I’m the one with the gray hair."
Does that make her the mother hen of ICU?
"Sure" and it’s a title she doesn’t mind wearing.
However, she does plan to attend graduate school at Troy State and, hopefully, one day she will teach nursing and have a wealth of experience to share with her students.