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Sycamore Shoals Hospital Nursing Story - Ginny Carr, RN

Ginny Carr - RN
Ginny is pictured here with Bud and Phyllis Maines; they are discussing future plans for Bud’s healthcare.

Ginny Carr is the Director of Clinical Services at Sycamore Shoals Hospital (SSH).  Ginny has 13 years experience as an RN, and an additional 14 years experience as a Respiratory Therapist. Ginny has been with Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) for 4 years; during her time with MSHA,  her leadership roles include being a Clinical Leader for the Medical-Surgical Unit at SSH, Chairperson of the SSH Practice Council, member of the MSHA Value Analysis Team, and participation in the Advisory Board Leadership Academy training.  Ginny received an Associates Degree in Science and a Bachelors Degree in Nursing from ETSU. 

Since becoming an RN, Ginny has worked as a staff nurse in the ICU, Medical-Surgical, and Pediatric Oncology areas, served as the Director of Nursing for a Nursing Home, a Hospice & an Emergency Department. In her role as a staff nurse in oncology about 11 years ago, Ginny met a patient, Bud Maines, who has “followed” her throughout the remainder of her nursing career. One evening Mr. Maines, who had recently been diagnosed with cancer, suddenly became very ill, vomiting blood and blood clots. Ginny notified his physician who responded immediately, and continued caring for Mr. Maines and his family as they prepared for emergency surgery. While his vomiting continued, Ginny was asked to start another IV line; knowing the life-saving need for this IV, Ginny asked the Maines family to pray for her to be successful while she did this procedure; Ginny was praying herself as she gathered the needed supplies. Ginny says that God answered their prayers because “a beautiful, fat vein appeared immediately in his arm when I applied the tourniquet. The IV was started with ease, all went well with the surgery, and Mr. Maines recovered, and went home to begin his chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Because of the nature of his illness there were several hospitalizations, and somehow Mr. Maines managed to “follow” Ginny as her career roles changed. Ginny transferred to a hospice and guess who was one of her patients? Then Ginny moved back to the hospital setting, and who was admitted to her unit?  With this “following” has come true friendship; Ginny and her “follower” patient Bud, and his wife Phyllis have become great friends. Mr. Maines has been successful in his battle against cancer, and Ginny is grateful that he “followed” her through the various twists and turns her nursing career has taken.

Ginny notes that to be a nurse, we must truly care for and about our patients and we must be willing to connect with them on a personal level, as well as providing professional nursing care to them. In fact, Ginny is on a self-proclaimed campaign to help nurses remember to include that personal level of caring and connecting as we care for our patients.

Thank you Ginny, and Bud and Phyllis Maines, for sharing your story with us!