Salute Our Heroes: Nurse loves building connections with her patients

Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 10:03 PM CST
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FORT RILEY, Kan. (WIBW) - Brenda Waggoner loves taking care of people from infants all the way to elders. Waggoner has worked as a nurse at Irwin Army Community Hospital in Fort Riley for 6 years. She says her passion for helping people crew her to the career.

“So I been in nursing for 23 years and I feel like now it found me like I didn’t find it starting in high school at our local nursing home up in Centralia I learned that they needed help and the elderly really did need help and I got joy and fulfillment from that and I just moved on to become an RN,” said Waggoner.

Waggoner said she is grateful for the many mentors she’s had along the way. She said she loves helping kids but grew a strong connection with elderly people.

“I do take pride in getting to know my patients and getting to know those little extras and seeing what family they have here for support because a lot of them don’t have much support and then like when we have kiddos get admitted then the moms always have that extra stress of trying to find somebody to help watch the kids,” said Waggoner.

Waggoner credits the solid team at the hospital with making work easier. Those colleagues say Waggoner’s connection with patients is unlike any they have seen.

“Brenda is the one that can really pull things out of a patient that we as docs can’t get out of. We have a good working relationship where she can tell me what’s going on and we can come up with a plan,” said Dr. Elliott Bass.

Waggoner won the employee of the year award for 2022 but she says that’s not what she cares about.

“I just come and do my job I don’t expect anybody to give me praise, the patients give me my praise I don’t really need it from the facility per se but as long as I can do the best for my patients that is what drives me to continue doing this,” said Waggoner.

Waggoner also mentioned she loves seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they come to see her.