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Nurses 2022: Miller a veteran of several areas at Methodist Jennie Edmundson

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Mindy Miller

Mindy Miller is a 43-year veteran at Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital and has worked in several different departments.

She worked in medical-surgical, obstetrics and outpatient surgery before moving to pre-admissions in January 2021. It was her colleagues in pre-admissions who nominated her to be recognized.

“She is one of the most compassionate nurses you will ever meet,” her colleagues wrote in their nomination. “When she is calling patients about their upcoming procedures, she has a wonderful sense of humor that puts them at ease.

“She goes above and beyond with our patients,” the nomination continued. “This is especially true with our breast cancer patients. Mindy has a connection with them, as she is a breast cancer survivor herself. She will share her experience with those patients that are nervous about their procedure and takes the time to really listen to them.

“A few of those patients she has personally gone over to outpatient surgery to talk to them or their family before their procedure. She will write a little uplifting message for them and has given a few patients pink gloves or a pink hat. It’s the little things she does for our patients that make her an exceptional nurse.”

“Mindy truly lives up to the standards of compassionate service here at Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital,” the nomination concluded. “She is a great co-worker, nurse and mentor.”

Miller was surprised to be recognized.

“I’m thrilled getting this honor,” she said. “I’m not working in the trenches.”

In pre-admissions, Miller calls patients before their procedures, does an assessment and educates them about the procedure.

Miller grew up in Council Bluffs and graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School. She credits several relatives for moving her toward nursing.

“I think my grandparents thought it would be a good idea — and I did want to do something to help people,” she said. “I had a cousin who was a nurse, and she was like my mentor. I also had an aunt who was a nurse. I just wanted to be like them.”

Miller volunteered as a candy striper before she went to nursing school. She earned a three-year diploma at Jennie and worked as a nurse aide on the weekends and at Dr. Ted Hoff’s eye care clinic in her spare time. When she finished her diploma, she took a job at the hospital working on a medical-surgical floor. She worked nights and “floated” to wherever she was needed.

Working in medical-surgical is a good opportunity to work on your organizational skills and get hands-on experience, Miller said.

“You just get better when you work on the floor,” she said. “There’s a variety of things to do. I floated for about a year. Then I ran into one of my teachers.”

The teacher was Ruth Kraft — then the head nurse in obstetrics — who hired Miller to work nights in the nursery. After six months, she was assigned to labor and delivery, where she worked for 29 years.

“It’s a very exciting place to work,” she said. “You’re working with people mostly on the happiest day of their lives. It can also be the worst day of their lives, if something goes wrong.”

After that, Miller moved to outpatient surgery.

“I was kind of weary of the 12-hour shifts, so I moved to outpatient surgery,” she said.

She stayed there for 14 years, working eight- to 10-hour shifts on weekdays. She shifted to pre-admissions and continues to work there.

“I’m working with very nice people,” she said. “I thought I would really miss taking care of patients, but people are kind of nervous before they have a procedure. It’s a good time to talk to people and make sure they know what they need to know. Sometimes it’s the unknown that makes them nervous.”

Among the rewards are having people remember you when they are back at the hospital or see you in the community, Miller said.

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