“I was at lunch when I got a call from the OR desk, asking me to come to the huddle room. My first thought was ‘What did I do wrong?’” says OR nurse Heidi Woods. She reported immediately to the huddle room to discover she’d been selected as Boone Hospital Center’s July 2020 Employee of the Month.
As a Circulating Nurse in the Operating Room, Heidi is responsible for getting the OR ready for the patient and team, which includes surgeons, anesthesia providers, surgical techs, orderlies, and Central Services and Distribution staff. She adds, “I’m the patient’s advocate while they’re under anesthesia. I make sure they’re safe and that they receive the appropriate care.”
Heidi, a certified perioperative nurse, has worked in operating rooms for a little over two decades in different capacities. She says, “I have always said it takes a specific personality to work in the OR. You either love it or hate it – obviously I love it! We’re a strong-willed bunch. My colleagues would probably agree with me when I say we’re kind of like a functionally dysfunctional family. We have fun at work, and we may not always agree with each other, but our focus is always what is best for our patients.”
Her first OR role was serving as first assistant nurse to Dr. James Pitt of Columbia Surgical Services, who operates at Boone. After moving away for a few years and returning in 2008, Heidi says, “I applied at Boone because I loved the people I’d worked with when I was with Dr. Pitt.”
In 2016, Heidi moved away again, but when she returned to the area in 2019, she says, “There was no question where I wanted to work. I loved my job and the people I worked with at Boone – and they graciously took me back!”
According to Heidi’s colleagues and leadership, welcoming her back was an extremely easy decision. Her nominator, a fellow nurse, writes, “Heidi has a deep well of information and experience to draw from. She is always willing to share that knowledge with students and coworkers. She is who I want to be professionally. It was a joyous day when Heidi returned to Boone.”
Heidi says having excellent teammates in the OR has brought her to back to Boone and is her favorite part of being a nurse here. She says, “I look forward to going to work because I love my functionally dysfunctional work family.”