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National Nurses Week: Five questions with ETSU community health center nurse Krista Herman

Jonathan Roberts • May 6, 2020 at 8:00 AM

Krista Herman wasn’t always planning on having a career in nursing.

In fact, if it weren’t for a suggestion from a family member at age 22, she may never have become one.

But 13 years after graduating from the Tennessee Technology Center with a degree in practical nursing, she’s still enjoying her work — having worked in obstetrics, pediatrics and family medicine.

She’s working at the Johnson City Community Health Center, which is operated by the East Tennessee State University College of Nursing. She is also a wife, a mother and an active churchgoer.

Recently, the Press caught up with Herman for National Nurses Week to discuss her career path, and what she enjoys about nursing.

Herman briefly: 

Favorite local restaurant: Chick-fil-A

Favorite travel destination: Walt Disney World

Cats or dogs: Dogs

Favorite music genre: Christian

Note: Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

How did you get into nursing, and have you always wanted to be a nurse?

When I was about 22, I was trying to decide "what I wanted to be when I grew up." My mother-in-law suggested that I try nursing, because she said I had such a caring heart that she thought I would make a great nurse. I never thought that I would be a nurse; I thought I would be grossed out by things nurses have to do. It turns out that when I tried it, I loved it. I found that when you get to the gross parts you forget them because all you are thinking about is the person you are helping.

What is your favorite part about nursing?

My favorite part about nursing is the people you get to encounter. Every person is unique and blesses my life differently.

What would you like people to know about you and your profession?

I want people to know that nurses don’t stop caring at the end of their shift. Nurses continue to care and think of patients even after they leave work. I personally have left work and prayed for patients.

To you, what is the most important part of your job?

The most important part of my job is to be able to empathize with a patient or their family.

What about the most rewarding?

The most rewarding thing about being a nurse is knowing that I have helped someone, even if it was just showing them that someone cares for them.

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