In honor of National Nurses Week, we wanted to shine a spotlight on a couple of our very own. First up is Teresa Leath, RN, BSN and SRC’s Senior Manager, Accreditation and Site Inspector. With over 40 years of experience in nursing, Ms. Leath began her career working in the medical-surgical units and emergency departments of community hospitals and Level II trauma centers. As an OR nurse, she developed proficiencies in numerous surgical disciplines and was a preceptor for new employees. Teresa has been with SRC for over 10 years so we wanted to go back in time a little and ask her a few questions about her nursing career and how she got started. Read the interview below.
What made you decide to become a nurse?
“From childhood. When adults would ask, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’, I knew I wanted to be a nurse. There weren’t any nurses in my family. In fact, I was the first to go to college in my family. I remember my first nursing instructor telling me, ‘You will be the best nurse that YOU want to be.’ That really stuck with me. I have always wanted and tried to do my best in all positions I have held during my entire nursing career.”
What did you find most rewarding?
“The patients that realize you truly care about them as a person. I have worked in many areas of the hospital in my career and I have memories of very special people that I had the honor of taking care of.”
What do you feel is/was your greatest skill as a nurse?
“Communication with the patients and having the ability to realize early on when a patient was critical. Even when no obvious symptoms were noticeable.”
How did you handle the stress?
“Most of the areas in my line of work were all in high-stress areas. How I dealt with it differed but some things that helped were scrapbooking which gets me off the computer and I can create something that a family member will cherish in the future. I also love laying on the beach, hearing the waves crash on the shore and watching the sunset. God gives us so many gorgeous portraits of the sky to soak in that time of the day.”
Tell us something fun about yourself, unrelated to nursing. What is your favorite thing to do during your free time?
“Because my mind is on overload all the time, I enjoy playing solitaire while watching TV. Also, I’m one of the most avid Alabama Crimson Tide football fans you may ever meet! I was raised on Alabama football and my dream would is to have season tickets and attend every game, rain or shine. The most memorable moment for me, recently, was when my grandsons learned to say, Roll Tide Roll!!”