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VIDEO | Former staff nurse Sue McCullough remembers the old St. Joe’s Hospital

Nov. 18, 2017 – West Bend, WI – One of the most familiar nurses at the hospital was Sue McCullough; she held many positions during her 44 years at St. Joe’s. She started as a staff nurse in 1971 and also worked as a physician and administration liaison.

 

McCullough remembered Christmas parties where staff brought potluck and performed skits.

There were charity bowling and softball games between hospital staff and police or local media.

 

“We were the Hospital Hot Handlers vs. the Mighty Media Men,” she said. “Myself and a couple nurses were the cheerleaders and we wore our duty shoes and nurses hats and white sweatshirts with big red crosses.”

 

McCullough also remembered certain things about the old, old part of the hospital.

“At the original old building the ambulance entrance was on the basement level and the emergency room was on the third floor,” she said. “They would page 777 and that meant somebody had to go down to the basement to meet the ambulance and take them up to the ER.

 

“As a young nurse, having to go down to that creepy basement. There were always rescue squad guys to help us.”

 

St. Joe’s, according to McCullough, also had a lot of firsts. “I was reading the instruction manual on how to use an external pacemaker while the doctor was inserting it,” she said. “It was our first time using but it was successful and the patient did well.”

“I know Dr. Richard Gibson had to make things because we didn’t have all the equipment,” she said. “We had to sharpen needles back then too. It was about two years after I started they got disposable needles.”

 

McCullough also recalled Sr. Frieda who didn’t have much faith in her. “She thought I was too young to work on her unit and she had me folding rags and sharpening needles for most of my shift even though I took care of the cardiac monitors on my floor,” she said.

 

During a speech to Rotary, McCullough described St. Joe’s as a hidden jewel.” It’s constantly evolving,” she said. “It’s state of the art with the biggest advances in safety and infection control.”

 

Evidenced by the turnout at the reunion McCullough said, “The bottom line is we liked each other. We helped each other out and rallied if anybody needed us for anything – whether in the hospital or personal.”

 

To read more stories from the St. Joe’s Reunion click HERE.

 

 

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