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Memorial Hospital of Converse County Nurses Lauded

On Tuesday evening, Misti Bachus was honored for being 1 of 10 recipients of the Casper Start Tribune Nursing Excellence award. Several Memorial Hospital staff as well as Misti’s family were in attendance to help celebrate all of her accomplishments. For this award, the Casper Star asked the community to submit nominations for the top nurses in the state. Once nominations were submitted, names and place of work were removed for a panel of volunteers to select the Top 10 Honorees.

Misti has been a Registered Nurse for 24 years. She has spent 17 of those years working at Memorial Hospital. She worked in our OB department for 10 years before moving exclusively to the IT department where she’s been for 7 years. Misti has always seen herself as a caregiver. Originally, she started out going to school as an Ultrasound Technician until her son got sick when he was two years old. It was a traumatic event for them, but they had some great nurses. They showed them so much compassion and that experience completely changed Misti’s trajectory. The next semester she was enrolled in the nursing program at Oglala Lakota College. Several staff at Memorial Hospital immediately think of Misti when they think of our Patient-Centered value. Amanda Hill, Informatics Specialist said, “She has a good heart. She always stands for the patient. She is a good decision maker and is not afraid to make critical decisions when needed. She is a true leader.” Her patient-centered mindset was evident as she played a very crucial role in our drug diversion safety and education. She not only created an anonymous hotline, but developed and planned our house-wide education in regard to our drug diversion. Misti is also the chair of our Medication Safety Committee and Controlled Substance Surveillance program.

Cristy Cobb, CNO said, “Misti gives 100% in all areas of nursing she works in. Her knowledge and care for her patients, their families, and her colleagues is what makes her one of Memorial Hospital of Converse Counties greatest assets. When asked what advice she has for a new nurse or someone considering a career in nursing, this is what Misti had to say:

"I would tell a new nurse to take the time to learn one specialty at a time and become competent in that before moving to a different area. I believe having that base will help make the transition to another department easier. You'll have your fundamentals and foundation to take with you as you move and grow.

I would also tell a new nurse to find a balance between work and family. Nursing is typically shift work and it can be difficult when you feel like you have to be in so many places at once. If you find that balance from the beginning between work and family, it helps prevent becoming overwhelmed.

For those considering a career in nursing, I'd tell them to first become a CNA. One of my son's nurses suggested that to me and I think that's what made me a great nurse. You spend so much time with the patients and you learn to really listen and take your time with the patient. That position gives you a wide range of viewpoints to really get a feel for nursing. For some it may solidify that they want to be a nurse. Others may realize that nursing isn't for them and they can explore other career options.”

In addition to Misti Bachus, MHCC had several nominees! We heard from a couple of our nominees including Calley Plumb and Jennifer Ewing on what it means to them to be a nurse and what advice they would have for others:

Calley Plumb - RN-BSN from the University of Wyoming

Calley has been a nurse for almost 11 years. She graduated in 2008 from the University of Wyoming and worked for 2 years on Med/Surg before moving to Surgery. Just recently Calley became the supervisor of Pre-Op/Pacu. Calley has always been interested in the medical field and was lucky to find a profession that she loves. :) Her favorite part about being a nurse is meeting patients and their family and making a stressful situation enjoyable or manageable! When asked what advice she had for a new nurse, Calley said, “my advice for new nurses would be to never stop learning and growing as a nurse.”

Jennifer Ewing - RN

Jennifer has been a nurse for 21 years, most of them spent in her favorite place, OB/nursery. Jennifer loves being a part of bringing a new life into the world and helping couples to start their new family in a positive and loving environment. There are ups and downs in all areas of nursing, but that is the challenge that she loves and never takes that for granted. When asked what advice she had for a new nurse, Jennifer said, “If I had to tell a new nursing grad anything, I would tell them to put your whole heart into your job and always take care of your patients like you would want your own family members to be taken care of. Your compassion and love for your job will stick in their mind the most. And always wear a smile!!”

Memorial Hospital also had two other nurses nominated for this award including Amy Elm and Kim Caves, photos below.

Congratulations to Misti as well as all of our nominees! If you see them around the community please be sure to extend your congratulations. And to all of our nurses at Memorial Hospital of Converse County and everywhere, we thank you again for your tireless and selfless dedication to our healthcare communities and patients!