King named ERMC’s top employee

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 30, 2001

Features Editor

Jan. 29, 2001 10 PM

Ethel King wiped tears of joy from her eyes as her named was called as Edge Regional Medical Center’s Employee of the Year 2000 on Thursday.

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"I am so surprised," King said with tears in her eyes. "I’m very proud of this and I just hope that I deserve it."

King became eligible for the prestigious award when she was named Employee of the Quarter for the second quarter of 2000.

Shirley Stewart, Martha Shipman and Kay Garrett were also honored with the quarterly awards.

In making the presentation, David Loving, Edge Regional Medical Center CEO, said King has all of the traits that define a good employee.

"She is loyal, dependable, trustworthy and always has a smile on her face," he said. "She is always willing to do what is asked of her. She never complains and she takes excellent care of her patients. She is committed to them."

Loving said the most important thing about the Employee of the Year award is that the recipient is elected by his or her peers.

"This award was voted on by your peers," he told King. "They see you every day and they see the way you do your job and they respect you for it. You are to be congratulated."

As recipient of the award, King received a pin, a plaque, $250 in cash, free lunches in the cafeteria for year, a designated parking place for a year and a trip to Nashville, April 6 and 8, where she will be treated to a weekend with the employees of the year from the 50 Community Health Systems, Inc. facilities.

King laughed and asked Loving if she could drive to Nashville instead of flying. He assured her that she could, but then she showed the daring spirit of a winner.

"But, you know, I think I’ll fly," she said. "I’ve never done that in my life. I think I’ll try it and see what it’s like."

King won’t be any higher at 33,000 feet than she was after being named the ERMC Employee of the Year.

"It’s a real honor," she said. "I’m just thrilled to death."

King has been employed at ERMC as a nurses’ aide for 11 years. She became interested in a nurses’ aide position when her mother was sick and she stayed with her at the old Edge Hospital.

"The aides would come in and do things for her and I would help them sometimes," she said. "I thought that would be something I would like to do."

She later applied for a job and Edge.

"They hired me and here I am," she said. "I hope I’ll be here until I can’t walk anymore."

King said her duties include giving baths to patients, taking them water and doing other special things for them.

"Sometimes I’ll go in at night and, if a patient can’t sleep, I’ll rub them with oil or just talk to them," she said. "I love my patients and I try to take very good care of them. If there is something they need and they can have it, I get it for them. I like to make them as comfortable as possible. I do love my patients and I love taking care of them."

King lives near Josie with her husband, Billy. The couple has three sons and five grandchildren.

When she’s not caring for her patients or spending time with her family, King likes to sew, quilt and work in her flowers.

But right now, the thing that is brightening her home is the new plaque she has to display.

"I wouldn’t take anything for this," she said. "I really wouldn’t."