WESTMINSTER — Rebecca Sherron is doing what she always wanted -- serving the community where she lives.
"I appreciate and enjoy being part of the community I am serving," said the new director of Critical Care Nursingat Carroll County General Hospital. "This hospital is growing, and Ilike the challenge of doing new things. It's exciting when you are changing things for the community."
Sherron, who holds one of the hospital's top executive nursing posts, oversees care of acutely ill patients. Sherron had the same responsibilities for seven years at Baltimore County General Hospital.
"I enjoyed my job at BCGH," Sherron said. "I wanted to come here because of the growth. I was very impressed with the hospital's plans for meeting the changing needs of a growing community."
Since beginning her new job in November, the 38-year-old Eldersburg resident has been planning for the hospital's proposed growth in the emergency room, critical care and telemetry.
"Right now, we are trying to determine if there is a need for more beds in our critical-care unit," said Sherron, whose responsibilities include managing about 150 workers in those areas. "We tend to think that there is a need in the county since the unit is filled the majority of the time."
The hospital has eight beds in the critical-care unit for patients who need intensive monitoring for heart problems and other critical illness.
"We are also looking to expand the number of patients we can monitor in our telemetry unit," Sherron said. "We are looking at setting up a program which will bring patients to the telemetry unit after they receive cardiac catheterization."
That unit has 32 beds to serve heart patients who do not require intensive care.
Sherron was one of three finalists chosen from a field of seven applicants.
Deanna Dell, vice president of patient care services at CCGH, said Sherron was the"ideal candidate for the job."
"Not only had (Sherron) held the exact position at Baltimore County General, but she had the years of experience we needed to help develop the services here," Dell said.
"She is the perfect person to help bring about the growth we will beexperiencing in the emergency department, as well as other critical-care areas. She is very much a team player, and her rapport with the medical staff is excellent."
It was a strange twist of fate that introduced Sherron to the Carroll County General Hospital. Last October, her mother was injured in a fall while visiting Sherron's sister in Hampstead.
"My mother fell and dislocated her shoulder and shattered the head of the upper-arm bone," Sherron recalled. "She needed some special care since she has other medical problems."
Sherron said her mother, Eleanor Umstot, received excellent care.
"She was there for about three to four hours, and they had to relocate her shoulder," Sherron said. "That was the first time I had ever been to Carroll County General Hospital. The nurses were kind and kept my sister and I informed about her condition."
Sherron left the hospital impressed by both the staff and the care her mother received.
"When Ileft the hospital, I was determined to call the next day and speak with the head nurse to thank her for the special care my mother received," Sherron said.
It was just a few months later when Sherron sawan advertisement for her job in the newspaper.
"I saw the ad in May, and I knew about the growth at the hospital," she said. "I was interested in getting in on the ground floor, so I ended up applying."
A native of Cumberland, Allegany County, Sherron graduated from Allegany Community College in 1974 with an associate's degree in nursing in 1974. Sherron began as a math major, but changed to nursing by the end of her freshman year.
"My sister was a year ahead of me in school and majoring in nursing," Sherron recalled. "When she would come home from school, I would help her with her work. I found that I liked nursing, so I changed my major."
After graduating from Allegany, Sherron came to Baltimore and worked at Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1974 to 1976. In 1976, she accepted a position at Franklin Square Hospital in eastern Baltimore County, where she worked until 1981.
"I became interested in critical care while I was a staff nurse at Franklin Square," she said. "This is an area that changes constantly because of the new drugs and equipment. While I was working on my bachelor's, I found that I was interested in the administrative aspect."
In 1981, Sherron returned to Johns Hopkins to work as a staff nurse for one year.
With nearly eight years of nursing experience and a bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Maryland, Sherron became the head nurse of the coronary care unit at Francis Scott Key Medical Center in Baltimore in 1982.
Sherron pursued her goal of becoming involved in critical-care administration, when she became the director of critical-care nursing at BCGH in 1984.
While working at BCGH, Sherron returned to school at the Johns Hopkins University and was awarded her master's of administrative sciences degree in 1989.
Sherron is engaged to be married this year to Alan Vasse of Eldersburg.