Cindy Roler, RN, remembers the long hallways of the old Good Samaritan Hospital. She started working there as a nurse on the med/surg and psych unit more than 47 years ago, making her Good Samaritan’s longest-tenured employee.
“There was a tiny ICU of six beds that went out onto another unrelated unit,” said Roler. “I worked nights when I first came to the hospital. You started on night shift and worked your way up to days.”
Roler’s first night shifts were on a unit that combined both med/surg and psych patients.
“That did not always go well,” Roler said. From there she transferred to orthopedics.
“That was a very long hall, we had two nurses, an aid and an LPN for 30 patients,” said Roler. “That was a time when people actually stayed in the hospital. If you had knee surgery, you were there for five to seven days. If you had a total procedure on a hip, you were there for two weeks.”
Nursing practices were also different than today. Staff teamed up to turn over orthopedic patients and medicine was dispensed intermuscular or orally, since IV medicine was still years in the future.
As 1975 approached talk of moving to a new hospital became reality. The move occurred over Roler’s vacation.
“It was just amazing,” said Roler. “On the smaller units, you could see everyone and you’ve got a nurse’s station and a break room. At the beginning we thought ‘We’ll never use all these rooms.’”
Once settled in, Roler transferred to the surgical floor. After maternity leave, she returned part time as a float night nurse and then as a relief supervisor on night shift. Finally, Roler transferred to the Emergency Department on the night shift.
Night shift in the 10-bed Emergency Department was staffed with two nurses.
“We did all our ordering on paper,” said Roler. “We had to wait for their family doctor to admit a patient, since we had no hospitalist.”
Roler credits the advent of hospitalists as a great change in both flow and efficiency.
“Regardless of what may be occurring in the department, Cindy remains calm,” said Julie Trueblood who has worked alongside Roler in the ED for 33 years. “She is a wealth of knowledge and a valuable resource for the Emergency Department. The staff and the Providers think highly of her."
“Throughout my career I have been blessed to work with really solid people that make a really good team,” said Roler.
One of the benefits of longevity in Benton County is that Roler will occasionally take care of someone she knows.
“They may not necessarily know my qualities as a nurse,” said Roler “but they just know me as a person, it’s a comfort to people. They are in a strange place in a stressful time, it is their emergency. I’ve had many people say, ‘Oh, I’m so glad you’re here.’”Watch for more articles about Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center as we celebrate 75 years of service to the mid-Willamette Valley and central Oregon coast.