Sometimes I am just astounded by how Awesome some people are! I came across a story of an 81-year-old Lady in Tupelo Mississippi that is still working as a Nurse after a career span of 60 years. Apparently, she has no plans to stop working anytime soon either. She is obviously really enjoying her job. This Granny with four daughters, 11 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren says she keeps working because she loves being with people.

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The Nurse, Betty Reedy, spent 50 of her 60-year career working in and around the surgical suite. The pre-operative area where she works now is her favorite. “You actually get to talk to patients,” Reedy said.

(Photo: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

Sometimes I look at stories like this and I wonder if I would still last another 40 years in my Job? How does she do it? I am sure in a career of six decades there must have also been a lot of times when things were not all that rosy.  Betty must surely be the oldest Nurse that I know of that is still working full-time and she is an inspiration to many of us.

Anyway, I salute you Betty Reedy and just hope that I am still so full of cheer and drive when I am 81 years old!

Here’s the Full article from the Clarion-Ledger:

TUPELO — With a ready smile and a colorful lab jacket over surgical scrubs, Betty Reedy is still making her rounds.

The 81-year-old registered nurse is a cheerful presence in a small package, helping patients prepare for procedures at the North Mississippi Medical Center Ambulatory Surgery Center in Tupelo.

A Harrison County native, Reedy has been a presence in Tupelo for nearly 25 years and her nursing career spans six decades. Reedy, who has four daughters, 11 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren, is still working full-time with no plans to slow down.

“I just love doing it,” Reedy said.

Reedy has spent 50 of her 60-year career working in and around the surgical suite. The pre-operative area where she works now is her favorite.

“You actually get to talk to patients,” Reedy said.

In addition to starting IVs and prepping patients for surgery, Reedy’s work as a pre-op nurse often involves calming nerves. Sometimes she uses a little bit of gentle humor to remind patients nervous about needles why they want an IV first.

“I offered to wait until the surgeon starts,” Reedy said.

When the IV is in, some of those nervous patients give Reedy the best compliment of all: “I didn’t even feel that.”

Because the surgery center handles both adult and pediatric cases, it’s not unusual for Reedy and the other pre-op nurses to end up entertaining their tiny patients as they wait for their turn.

“We’ll walk the halls with the babies if they’ll come to us,” she said.

They also end up tending understandably anxious parents.

“We end up soothing the mother as well as the child,” Reedy said. “Sometimes, the dads are worse than moms. I tell them the child will do much better than you will.”

Reedy has seen a lot of changes in the nursing profession over the course of her career. When Reedy entered nursing school after high school, the student nurses lived in a dorm at Hattiesburg’s Methodist Hospital, now Merit Health Wesley.

The student nurses would take classes at the University of Southern Mississippi during the day and come back to the hospital in the evening and help take care of patients. The evening routine included back rubs for patients.

“In those days, you couldn’t be married,” during nursing school, Reedy said. She and husband John, who met while he was a student at USM, waited until after she graduated to tie the knot in 1957.

Instead of disposable plastic, stainless steel was the most common material for surgical supplies when Reedy started her nursing career. “In training, we had to sharpen our own needles,” Reedy remembered.

There weren’t as many hands in the hospital, so nurses did a lot of things handled by other health professionals now. The nurses would boil syringes to sterilize them. If a patient needed narcotics post-surgery, the nurses had a Bunsen burner available so they could boil the water and prepare the solution, Reedy said.

Reedy’s career in nursing paralleled her husband John’s career in hospital administration. But as their careers took them to Hattiesburg, Wiggins, Meridian, and Jackson, many people didn’t realize they were a couple even when they worked at the same hospital.

“He was downstairs and I was upstairs,” Reedy said. “In Meridian, it took them three years to figure it out.”

John Reedy came to Tupelo as the administrator for NMMC Behavioral Health in 1992. Betty Reedy, who stayed in Jackson with their daughters until the house sold, officially started in 1993. John died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 1996, a loss that Reedy still feels deeply.

When someone asks Reedy about her retirement plans, she has a few witty comebacks.

“I usually say, ‘When you start paying my bills,'” Reed said, “but I’m lying.”

She has no intention of heading to the house. If she ever retired from nursing, she would end up seeking out another job that keeps her in the middle of people. She definitely wouldn’t spend her days gardening.

“I’m not a flower person because I kill them,” Reedy said.

Outside of work, Reedy’s life is full of faith and family. She has four daughters, 11 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren. Daughter René Horton and grandsons Connor and Ryan live in Tupelo, but the rest are scattered between Virginia, Florida, and Louisiana.

She is an active member of St. James Catholic Church. She is usually up before 4 a.m. to read the Bible and pray the rosary ahead of her early morning arrival at the surgery center.

It’s a rich, busy life, exactly how she likes it.

“My kids keep trying to give me a dog,” Reedy said. “I can come and go without reporting to anyone but (daughter) René.”

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