Columbia St. Mary’s Regional Burn Center
Peggy Lohr has worked in hospital burn units almost her entire nursing career; more than 43 years.
“It’s hard work, but it’s work I’ve become pretty passionate about,” Lohr said.
Lohr works with an interdisciplinary team at Columbia St. Mary’s, one where she says everybody plays a part in a patient’s recovery. She enjoys the relationships she has formed in the unit, with co-workers, patients and family members.
“In a traditional hospital setting patient turn over means patients are sometimes in and out within a day or two,” she said. “In the burn unit, it’s a long-term recovery. You develop a real rapport with patients and their families. They become an extended family of sorts.”
Darlene Sargent, director of critical care at Columbia St. Mary’s, nominated Lohr for this honor.
“Peg always treats each patient as an individual, she looks for the uniqueness and characteristics of each patient and what works best for the patient’s individual needs,” Sargent said.
Lohr started working in the burn unit at St. Mary’s directly out of nursing school. Lohr also did case management work, but decided she wanted to get back to her greatest joy; being on the floor as a bedside nurse in the burn unit.
“I knew that’s where I wanted to be,” Lohr said. “I’m 64, I’ve got a few years before retirement, but I want to still look forward to going to work. I want to feel that I can go there and be revved up about going.”
Lohr does plan to retire in the future, but does not know if she will be able to be done completely.
“It really is my passion. I know that these patients are in a better place when I can help them or answer their questions,” Lohr said.
“Nursing is very rewarding to me. Even if you are physically exhausted, at the end of the day you can go home and say, ‘today I made a difference for someone.'”
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