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Abstract

Celebrating 50 years on the job.

 

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On December 1, 2008, after celebrating 50 years as an RN at Bellville General Hospital in Bellville, Texas, Dorothy Goodnight retired. She had spent most of her career in labor and delivery and in the operating room as both circulating and scrub nurse; she also worked on the medical-surgical unit. Although she's seen many advances in health care over the years, the change she regrets the most is that nurses no longer wear white uniforms. "You can't tell the housekeeping staff from the nurses," she says. Goodnight remembers the early days of nursing and how hard she worked. "There was no sitting at a nurse's desk or station," she says. "You did it all. When your patient was discharged, you were responsible for cleaning up the room and making it ready for the next one." She says she's never regretted her decision to become a nurse and still wears her nursing graduation ring.

  
Figure. Dorothy Good... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Dorothy Goodnight in 1954.
 
Figure. The operatin... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. The operating room nurses at Bellville General pose on Dorothy Goodnight's last day (front row, left to right): Sheila Abel, RN; Holly Wise, RN; Dorothy Goodnight, RN; Richard Glass, CRNA; (back row, left to right): Julie Herzog, RN; Linda Acebo, LVN. Photos courtesy of Sharon Glentzer.