Paper names Ann Scholtz one of Wyoming's Top Nurses
By Kristy Bleizeffer May 6, 2020
“Ann’s enthusiasm and passion for nursing is infectious which makes me want to strive to be a better nurse.” — Casey Robberson
Congratulations to Ann Scholtz , R.N., for being named one of Wyoming's Top Nurses by the Casper Star-Tribune.
In celebration of National Nurses Week, the Casper Star-Tribune selected 10 Wyoming nurses for the honor, and eight of them work at Wyoming Medical Center.
Ann is a registered nurse on our Outpatient Unit, and she was nominated by her coworker, Casey Robberson.
"Ann’s goal is to constantly excel in the care she delivers to her patients and she strives to exceed their expectations every time," Casey wrote in her nomination letter. "Hands down, of all the perioperative staff, Ann consistently receives praise from patients and families as delivering excellent care and going above and beyond with each patient/visitor encounter."
Read more about Ann and her career in the interview below.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A NURSE, AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED AT WYOMING MEDICAL CENTER?
In May, I will have been a nurse for 33 years, and I have worked at WMC for 34 years. I started working at Wyoming Medical Center in 1986 as a nurse extern (sort of an aide, but able to perform other tasks) and worked through my last year of nursing school.
I have worked in a lot of different areas throughout the hospital. I started my career on the Progressive Care Unit, and then went from there to ICU. I spent a year on the IV team, and then spent most of my time in the Recovery Room (about 15 years). I left the Recovery Room and worked in Employee Health for a period of time and currently work on Outpatients. Seems like a lot of changes, but I like to try new things.
WHAT DOES your work ENTAIL? WHY DID YOU WANT TO BECOME THIS TYPE OF NURSE?
My current practice on Outpatients entails new things every single day. We admit patients for procedures in the Cath Lab, Interventional Radiology, OR, GI cases, and we care for most of these folks after their procedures and see them through to discharge. We also care for a lot of folks coming in for different infusions for different illnesses.
I wanted to work on Outpatients because I missed bedside nursing. I was in Employee Health prior, and I just am not cut out to sit at a desk. Outpatients is fast paced, busy most of the time, and there is a great variety. I'm super happy here.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST BECOME INTERESTED IN MEDICINE, AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A NURSE?
So it is sort of a fluke that I ended up being a nurse. I actually wanted to be an accountant and worked for an accounting firm and was taking classes towards that when the economy in the early '80s took a turn and a lot of businesses were going bankrupt. I knew my job wasn't stable. I also thought that I needed something that didn't involve sitting at a desk! My sister-in-law actually suggested nursing to me and I kind of thought, eww, no way.
I went to Casper College, took a test and this lady just kept pushing me to nursing. I finally thought, "well maybe this is God's plan for me." I started nursing school and was just fascinated with all of it. I have never regretted it once. I have learned so much over the years, and still every day I learn.
DO OTHER MEMBERS IN YOUR FAMILY WORK IN HEALTH CARE?
I do have family members that are nurses. I have a niece that is a nurse, and another niece that just received her nurse practitioner degree. My cousin was a nurse as well. I am so grateful for these women, and super proud of them as well! They will be my go-to when I get old!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB, AND WHAT ARE SOME CHALLENGES YOU FACE?
My favorite part of my job is definitely the people. Over the years, I have met so many nice people, and worked with great people as well. I really enjoy being able to take care of folks and see them through, start to finish. People come in scared and upset, and being able to help them understand what is going to happen in a way they understand and putting them at ease just makes me feel good about what we do. I even had a patient the other day say she really had enjoyed her heart cath and had a great time! It just cracked me up.
There definitely are challenges every day. Sometimes things happen and you need to react quickly. Always being on your toes, what to watch for with different procedures, taking care of things when they do go awry, things happen, you just have to take care of what's most critical. Sometimes people are mad and upset, and those things can be challenging.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A GOOD NURSE, IN YOUR OPINION?
What I think it takes to be a good nurse is multifaceted: I have known some super smart nurses who knew a lot of text book facts but really aren't very good nurses. Good nursing is a combination of both good clinical skills along with true caring compassion for other human beings. I think looking at a person as not just a diagnosis, but a spiritual, emotional, physical being. All of those parts need to be addressed, not just one.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE NEW NURSES OR THOSE CONSIDERING A CAREER IN NURSING?
Don't take yourself too seriously. Things happen that you have no control over. I always would look at situations that went poorly and wonder what part I had in it. I came to a conclusion years ago that we aren't really in control. We may think we are, but God has the last say.
One other thing is to wear your support hose. They are hot and tight but just make yourself wear them!
DO YOU STILL LIKE BEING A NURSE?
I really still love being a nurse. I have never ever regretted doing this. There obviously are days I think, "man that was bad day, why am I still doing this?" But the next day is good and I feel fulfilled in my work. I am happy in what I do, if I wasn't I wouldn't be doing it.
AS A REGIONAL REFERRAL CENTER, WYOMING MEDICAL CENTER COVERS ABOUT 250,000 WYOMING LIVES. WE PROTECT THE HEALTH OF OUR FRIENDS, NEIGHBORS, COMMUNITY AND STATE. HOW DOES THIS MAKE YOU FEEL?
I have always been proud to work for Wyoming Medical Center. I have felt that I have been treated well. I think we are really blessed for rural Wyoming to have the medical care we have here. We have great doctors and surgeons and I can't imagine having to go to Denver for decent medical care.
HOW DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL TO KNOW THAT A COLLEAGUE OR PATIENT NOMINATED YOU FOR THIS HONOR?
I had no idea I was nominated for this. It is really humbling, I really don't feel that I am any different than all the other nurses I know and work with. Every nurse I know works hard and provides good care to those in our charge.
The fact that a colleague or a patient nominated me for this brings tears to my eyes. We all work hard and take care of people to the best of our ability. I do feel that nursing is a calling and I have always felt that I'm not alone here.
WYOMING MEDICAL CENTER'S TOP NURSES
Eight of the 10 Top Nurses honored by the Casper Star-Tribune in 2020 are from Wyoming Medical Center. Read their interviews in the links below.