Lexington nurse still going strong after 50 years of service

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 6:36 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 5, 2021 at 7:51 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, S.C. (WIS) - Doctors say working and staying active helps people stay sharp as they age. Lexington Medical Center nurse Fannie Ward has racked up 50 years of service to make that point.

She has seen pretty much everything in her time at Lexington Medical Center. She even watched the first laparoscopic surgery ever performed at the hospital.

To prove just how long she’s been doing this, her nametag shows, she was the 125th person ever hired at the hospital, out of tens of thousands of employees.

“There’s something new, different every day,” Fannie said. “I’m bored staying at home. I am never bored at this hospital.”

Fannie says she interacts with 30 people or more per day on the job, working as an outpatient surgical nurse. She works bedside helping countless others facing tough circumstances, and finds that role brings her lots of joy.

“It is fun taking care of the patients,” she said. “Patients come in anxious about surgery and I’m able to talk to them, calm them down, and let them leave with a surgery completed and feeling much better about it.”

Working into her 80′s has definitely worked for Fannie. She shows no sign of slowing down, even learning new computer skills, using the electronic medical records system at the hospital.

“It keeps you sharp and keeps your mind working,” she said. “It beats housework any day”.

Feneisha Franklin, a geriatric doctor at Lexington Medical Center, works with seniors and says Fannie is right. She says when seniors stay active in the workforce and otherwise, it works wonders for their overall well-being.

”It keeps you active, you’re meeting different people. And I think that there’s a wealth of knowledge to gain from our geriatric population, because of their years of experience,” Dr. Franklin said.

“They can mentor a lot of those who are younger that are coming in,” Fannie said. “So I encourage them to continue to do that if that’s what they enjoy.”

It’s clear, Fannie enjoys her job as a nurse -- just as much as she did when she was an aspiring nurse all those years ago. The lives she has touched in that time, are too many to count.

”Over the years I’ve gotten lots of notes from patients thanking me,” Fannie said. “You feel like you’re appreciated. And it makes you feel good!”

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