It takes some time to get used to shift work. As a registered nurse, Barb Linkert knows this, but luckily, she’s had plenty of experience. At 74-years old, she’s celebrating 50 years of service at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS).
“It’s crazy sometimes on the floor, but when I go home at night after a twelve hour shift, I tell myself this is what I’m meant to be doing,” Linkert says.
She started nursing at Hamilton General Hospital in October 1966 after completing her training at the Hamilton General Hospital School of Nursing. Back in those days, student nurses lived on site. She’s been there ever since and presently works on 4 West, the Cardiology Inpatient Unit, where she’s spent the majority of her career.
“I love the staff and I love the patients. I love caring for them. To me, that’s what it’s all about.”
“this is what I’m meant to be doing.”
Linkert currently works one twelve hour shift each week. She tried to retire in 2008 after 42 full-time years, but her manager, Leslie Gillies, called her back the next week offering a part-time placement and she couldn’t say no.
“People ask me if I’d choose the same career again,” Linkert remarks. “I think I can honestly say yes. Nursing is what I feel I was meant to do.”
She received recognition at the HHS Long Service Awards Reception yesterday at Michelangelo’s Event and Conference Centre along with 468 other employees and volunteers who were being recognized for between 25-45 years of service.
“Whether you are a nurse or a porter, in administration or the emergency department, each and every one of you help make us who we are today,” noted president and CEO, Rob MacIsaac during his remarks at the event. “I am very proud of our talented and skilled workforce and you should be too.”
He made special mention of Linkert’s unique milestone. She’s believed to be the first HHS employee to reach 50 years of service.
Linkert says she’s honoured to be acknowledged and doesn’t anticipate retiring any time soon.