May 17, 2017

Three generations of nursing family provide care to Mercy Medical Center patients

For the past 44 years, Suzanne Meyer, RN, has been part of the Mercy Medical Center family—just like her mom before her. Now three of her daughters are following in her footsteps. The family, and their dedication to nursing, was recently profiled in The Canton Repository. The full text of the article is posted here. Mercy Medical Center is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

Nursing runs in Meyer family’s blood
By Edd Pritchard, The Canton Repository

Shop talk doesn’t translate into good dinner conversation for Suzanne Meyer and her daughters.

Then again, getting together for dinner on holidays and special occasions is a challenge. It seems that someone always is scheduled to work.

Meyer and daughters Jenn Meyer, Patrice Tillapaw and Kristina Meyer all are part of the nursing staff at Mercy Medical Center. They see each other more often at work than at each other’s homes.

“The hospital doesn’t close,” Jenn Meyer said.

Suzanne Meyer, and her daughters are among more than 1,000 women and men who make up Mercy’s nursing staff. The hospital has 828 registered nurses, 50 licensed practical nurses and 166 nurses assistants.

During National Nurses Week, the hospital presents Clinical Excellence Awards honoring nurses selected for clinical skills, teaching abilities, communication skills, teamwork and professionalism. Nurses are nominated for the honor and picked following a review by their peers.

Jenn Meyer is one of four Mercy nurses being honored this year. Others are Sam Hutchison, who works in the cardiovascular special care unit, Judy Randles in the regional rehabilitation unit and the late Barb Lamp, who worked in a main medical unit.

Suzanne Meyer and her daughters didn’t follow a direct path into the nursing field. All worked in other departments at the hospital before taking on nursing duties.

Meta Zimmer, Suzanne’s mother, played a part in leading her daughter and granddaughters into the field. In 1968, Zimmer went to work at Mercy in radiology billing. She worked 20 years, and after retiring spent 20 more years volunteering.

Zimmer helped Suzanne Meyer — while still in high school — get a job in the dietary department. Suzanne liked the environment working at the hospital and admired the nursing staff. Suzanne moved from dietary to the electrocardiogram and stress test department, and after 10 years she entered nursing school.

Jenn, the oldest of five daughters, initially considered pharmacy school. She went to Kent State University and worked at Mercy as secretary in the same day surgery department. The experience at Mercy convinced her to switch to nursing. “I think I made the right move.”

Patrice followed Jenn into the secretary job, then started attending nursing school part-time while working. Because of the experience with the surgical department as a secretary, she gravitated to surgery after finishing nursing school.

Kristina started working in dietary while in high school, then became a nurse assistant in the rehabilitation and post-operative surgical floors. She has taken nursing classes while juggling her job and family. She is now a unit assistant in the intensive care unit.

Suzanne Meyer works in the post-anesthesia care unit, while Jenn works in coronary care. They often see each other as patients are moved between the coronary treatment departments. Likewise for Patrice and Kristina.

Nursing is a challenging profession and all four said they are up to the task.

“I don’t think I could sit at a desk all day long,” Jenn said. “I like taking care of patients.”

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