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Stokes retires after nursing career at Troy Regional

For Dell Stokes, there were tender moments at her retirement reception at Troy Regional Medical Center Thursday afternoon and, perhaps, a few tears. But, Stokes is ready to spend time with family, including her two grandsons, and just enjoy having the time and opportunity to do the things that are not dictated by the ticking of a time clock.

Stokes, is originally from Selma, but Troy is home and has been since 1974.

She is a graduate of Troy State College School of Nursing. She met her husband, Steve, there. Upon graduation, she stepped right through the hospital door and began working the 3 to 11 p.m. shift doing whatever needed to be done from assisting visitors to moving feeding trays.

Stokes has made the rounds at TRMC, so to speak. She has worked the second shift, medical-surgery nursing, in the emergency room and the intensive care unit. Stokes has worked as the house supervisor and done paper work and done stints in pediatric care. She liked seeing babies delivered and being involved with the parents at such a joyful time.

“I’ve enjoyed working in all areas of the hospital,” Stokes said. “But, always, it was my desire to make sure that everything was taken care of and everything was done that could be done. Working in ICU was special. It was very rewarding to see a patient go home after there had been doubtful times.

“It was very difficult when we lost a patient and it was not something we could walk away from,” Stokes said. “At the hospital, we have counseling available if it’s needed. Sometimes, some of us would go in the chapel and pray and talk together. There are different ways to handle loss. You just have to find a way and go on.”

A year ago, Stokes had open heart surgery and she began to look at life in a different way.

“I have three children and we are all very close,” she said. “And I have two grandchildren, both boys, and there are things that I want to do with them and I need more time for that.

Stokes said she will miss being a part of Troy Regional Medical Center as it continues to move forward in providing the quality medical care in Pike and surrounding counties.

“The hospital has been good to me and for me,” Stokes said, adding that she has fond memories to carry into her retirement. “It’s time now and I’m looking forward to retirement. I enjoy reading. Sometimes I sew and sometimes I don’t. In the past, I’ve shown in dog shows. I have a Bullmastiff that I’ve shown and a Husky that I haven’t.”

Of course, what Stokes said she will enjoy most is spending those 12-hour shifts with her husband and her children and overtime with the grandchildren.