05/27/09 — O'Berry Nurse of the Year named

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O'Berry Nurse of the Year named

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on May 27, 2009 1:46 PM

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Brenda Stroud, registered nurse at O'Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center, was recently named O'Berry Nurse of the Year.

Memories of nursing school are still vivid for Brenda Stroud -- going to class all day, working all night, trying to take it all in.

Forty-six years later, the registered nurse is still working all night, still taking it all in.

For the past seven years, she has been at O'Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center, where she was recently named its Nurse of the Year. The lead nurse in Cluster 5 labors while most people are sleeping -- the midnight to 8 a.m. shift.

"On the night shift, there are only three nurses on campus so the direct care staff depends on her to pick up on what's wrong and use her assessment skills," said Jan Heath, director of nursing. "She's extremely knowledgeable, she's a great resource, very level-headed, especially in emergency situations, and a great team player.

"She's someone that every nurse on campus knows because every shift, afternoons and day shift, has some interaction with Brenda. They'll give her some report or she's giving them a report at shift change."

Mrs. Stroud works in what is commonly called the "mini hospital" on campus, formerly the infirmary. She describes it as the area patients go "when they get sick and have to have IVs and antibiotics. Sometimes they go back and forth; sometimes we have to send them to the hospital."

It's a unique clientele she serves, but Mrs. Stroud says the rewards are what keep her job interesting.

"Knowing that I'm doing something for these people" is always worthwhile, she said. "They're clients that need our help and you really feel fulfilled when you give them the care that they need. We are a lot of times their family and we get close to them. I have thoroughly enjoyed it."

Working the night shift is not without its challenges, though.

"We have to set up our own little sleep patterns," she said. "For me, I leave every morning and go by and check on my mama -- she'll be 96 in September. Usually I get to bed around 1 p.m. and I sleep until it's time to come back to work."

Widowed more than a year ago, she is the mother of two grown children -- Tommy Stroud of Albertson, where Mrs. Stroud lives, and Vickie Robinson of Kinston. She also has four grandchildren.

The role of caregiver is as familiar to her as breathing.

"I have attended to people all my life," she says. "I always wanted to be a nurse and I have been one for 46 years. I just knew I always wanted to be a nurse -- I started out working at Duplin General and worked for Dr. (Edward) Boyette for years."

At the same time, she has never garnered attention for her life's work.

"I was surprised, but I didn't know what I had to do to get it," she said of being first named Nurse of the Quarter in the fall, and then Nurse of the Year. "I don't like recognition much. I do this because I would want the same thing done for me or my family."

Caring and loving are Mrs. Stroud's goals, Ms. Heath said.

"You can feel secure that the individuals here have got the care they need," Ms. Heath said.