Shears retires after 49 years of nursing
After 49 years of taking temperatures, giving shots and interpreting doctors’ orders, Theresa Shears is retiring from nursing. December 31st, 2013 will be her last day of fulltime employment at St. Mary’s Hospital in Cottonwood.
Theresa Reichlin grew up in the Keuterville area and attended St. Gertrude’s Academy. She began working as a CNA after graduating from high school and quickly discovered that she enjoyed helping others as part of the medical field. She enrolled at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, WA and graduated in 1967 as a LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse).
Theresa had been working at McKay Hospital in Moses Lake while attending college and continued there in her new capacity until 1968 when she married Dave Shears and they moved back to Cottonwood. She immediately went to work as an LPN at St. Mary’s Hospital in Cottonwood. After about a year Dave and Theresa moved to Lewiston where she worked at St. Joseph’s Hospital until 1971 when they returned to Cottonwood. In August of that year Theresa went to work for Dr. George Imhoff as the office nurse.Over the next twenty years she worked fulltime, raised four children and put up with Dave. In 1991 she went back to St. Mary’s Hospital where she has been ever since.
Theresa has truly enjoyed her time as a nurse and says her favorite part has been “getting people well and sending them home”. As she looks back on the last 49 years she is truly amazed at the advancements that have come about. “The discovery of additional medicines to treat diseases has been the biggest overall benefit since I started nursing,” Theresa said, “back when I started as a CNA no one got an IV until absolutely necessary and now it’s for everyone who comes in.”
In her retirement Theresa plans to do a lot of sewing and will occasionally help Dave paint his birdhouses. She is pretty sure she will go crazy not going to work every day, so to maintain her sanity she will actually be working a couple days a week at St. Gertrude’s Convent. “The freedom to pick up and go to visit family and friends far away will be a nice change,” she said.
To celebrate her retirement, her children, Debbi, David Jr, Dan and Dean, will be hosting a party at the Keuterville Hall on Saturday, January 4th, 2014 starting at 2pm. All are welcome to come and acknowledge how Theresa may have touched their lives during her 49 years as a nurse to the camas prairie.