06/22/08 — O'Berry's Shari Mitchell named Nurse of the Year

View Archive

O'Berry's Shari Mitchell named Nurse of the Year

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 22, 2008 2:00 AM

Shari Mitchell knew in fifth grade that she would one day be a nurse.

Earning her licensed practical nurse degree from Wayne Community College 23 years ago, she has worked for the past 161/2 at O'Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center.

Her heart for the job earned her this year's "Nurse of the Year" honor there.

"Shari is extremely dedicated, not just to nursing but to O'Berry Center," said Jan Heath, director of nursing. "It's demonstrated in her day-to-day activity and the job that she does."

Ask any nurse on campus, Mrs. Heath said, and they'll say that Shari helps wherever and whenever asked.

"She doesn't care what the job is, whose job it is," she said. "She has a mission and that's truly nursing."

As employee health nurse, Mrs. Mitchell's duties cover new employees, staff injuries, immunizations and workmen's compensation. Earlier this year, her flexibility and ability to adapt really shone through, her supervisor said, when a vacancy in the department remained open for five months.

"She took up the slack for that, and the whole department continued to run smoothly," Mrs. Heath said.

What Mrs. Mitchell enjoys most about the job, though, is being of service.

"I love interacting with the different people that come in and I love interacting with individuals (residents) that come in," she said. "To know that I have helped someone, even if it's not medically, maybe I sit there and I listen."

It was that spark, even as a youngster, that prompted her aspirations to become a nurse.

"I feel like I'm a caring, compassionate person and I just wanted to help others," she said. "Individuals out here, they're not like others, they can't tell you what's wrong with them.

"It takes everybody to make sure that they're cared for."

She admits to being "shocked" to receive the nursing award.

"I was also honored," she noted, "because we have many, many good nurses out here."

Married to Troy Mitchell, who works in the maintenance department at Daly RV, the couple are raising five children, ages 6, 11, two 17-year-olds and 21.

The nursing award was introduced three years ago, Mrs. Heath said. Nursing supervisors nominate a nurse of the quarter and from that pool, the nurse of the year is chosen.

The quarterly recipient gets to choose one day off with pay; the nurse of the year gets two days off of their choosing.

Mrs. Mitchell also received a plaque and will have her picture featured on the "Wall of Fame" in the health services office.