Retiring nurse literally wrote the book of nursing
It's the end of an era at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. The place where it all began for Pat Potter.
"It's been a great place to work," she said.
Potter started here before the first angioplasty. Being a nurse is all she ever wanted to do.
"I was fascinated by the science. And I loved science," she said.
Her first assignment at Barnes was in the general medicine unit and she quickly learned patience with the patients.
"It was a little scary," she recalled. "You realize you have responsibility for the lives of the people you take care of."
Soon, she was teaching other nurses.
"She's got these two sides of medicine which I think really embodies nursing as a profession which is the medical, clinical side. But also the human and compassionate side," Oncology nurse Maggie Compernolle said.
Nursing and teaching turned out to be a perfect prescription and that led to writing textbooks.
Collaborating with Dr. Anne Perry, Pat Potter literally wrote the book of nursing.
"That book is used worldwide to teach nursing. The best practice and evidence based care," Dr. John Lynch, Barnes' Chief Medical Officer, said.
For the last several years, she's been leading the charge for BJC's innovation unit.
"Our job is to introduce new practices to improve nursing as well as other health care services," Potter sid.
Now, after 41 years, she's putting away the scrubs for good.
"Pat Potter is like the meta nurse. She's like the nurse of nurses," Compernolle said. "I think Pat has certainly left her footprint on nursing as an entire profession."
She plans to continue writing and do as much volunteer work as possible. Apparently, you can stop nursing but not caring.
"A lot of friendships, incredible relationships. That's what I'll miss the most," Potter said.
Leaving her mark on both nurses and patients, at BJC Pat Potter was just the right medicine.
"We're going to miss her," said Dr. Lynch.