Dani: Occupational Health

May 18, 2016—Meet Dani. She’s both an RN and the Occupational Health Supervisor (In the Occ. Health Dept.) and has been with Cheyenne Regional for almost 40 years! Dani has moved around in various positions and has even experienced the hospital’s name-change and ownership transitions over the years. But she tells us that she’s always enjoyed working here, and has been thankful for the opportunity to grow. Dani has a great personality, a sweet heart, and a talent for working with people. We are lucky to have her here! She expounded a bit on her experience working here.

Dani wdywhw template

“I think that you have to have a calling to do this kind of work. We’ve got good people here.”

In my current position, I really enjoy being able to help employees, especially the ones who are hurt after an injury at work—to be able to help them through the worker’s comp system. We help employees through that process and help them get back to work as quickly as they can. Getting back to work really helps keep people motivated to get better. They have somewhere to go, there’s a purpose, and they’re not sitting at home thinking about how bad they feel or how bad it hurts—they’re getting back to their lives. I enjoy being here for our employees when they need help.

I’ve been given a lot of opportunities here at this hospital. 40 years ago, I started by working nights on the surgical floor back when Cheyenne Regional used to be DePaul hospital, at what is now our East building. I worked my way up and eventually became the head nurse of the surgical floor and worked day shifts.

Later, I had kids and went PRN and worked nights. I did that for 10 years. In that time I worked in the ER, the ICU, house supervision, and grow more knowledge and skills in my practice. It was good. Then, the system decided to do an occupational medicine program and I started working in employee health. Back then, I was the only RN taking care of 1400 employees by myself. There were really only about 5 of us doing HR functions. It was a busy busy office. I told my boss that I couldn’t keep working like that, and we didn’t have the money to hire extra help. That was a bittersweet time for me, because I left that position and went to work for Central Supply and learned about inventory.

Working in Central Supply was cool. I did that for 10 years, and it was awesome! I learned a lot and it helped me to be able to work with the clinical staff to help figure out what they really wanted and needed. Then I went back to nursing in the Cath Lab and I really loved that too. Eventually I came back here to Occupational Health (in 2013) when a coworker retired and left this position. So it’s kind of full-circle!

Why have I stayed here so long? Well, I’ve been given lots of different opportunities. These days, people don’t tend to stay at a place this long—people are more mobile, I suppose. But I was always able to grow in what I wanted to do here. People are always looking for “something better” but I’m not sure they’ll ever find it if they’re not willing to be a little inconvenienced by things sometimes. But I am, so I’m good. We’ve seen a good handful of people leave and come back. I think they realize that the grass isn’t always greener. But I’m so glad I’ve stayed here; I’ve just been afforded so many opportunities and it’s been great.”

Check out our Facebook page to view Dani’s feature there, too!