Iredell Health Honors Long-Serving Employees: A Conversation with Marsha Tomlin (2024)

Iredell Health Honors Long-Serving Employees: A Conversation with Marsha Tomlin (1)

Iredell Health System celebrated its 70th Anniversary on May 1. It’s not just a celebration of passing time. It’s a testament to the dedication and loyalty of the people who made, and continue to make, it all possible — its employees.

Iredell Health System has a long-standing history of caring for its community. What sets Iredell Health System apart is its deep connection to the community it serves. Many of its employees are not just healthcare professionals — they are our neighbors, friends, and family members. In fact, Iredell Health System has more than 70 employees who have worked at Iredell Health System for over 30 years.

Marsha Tomlin, RN, has worked at Iredell Health System for almost 47 years. She is currently a nurse in Iredell Memorial Hospital’s emergency department.

From a young age, Tomlin had a passion for nursing. Her decision to become a nurse began with a life-changing incident when she was a child. When she was only about five years old, she was in a boat with her family when it capsized. It was the Saturday before Easter, so the water was still very cold. Tomlin says she and her family were in the water for a long time until the rescue team arrived.

“Once rescued, we were taken to the local doctor’s office in Troutman. The nurse was the most kind and compassionate person I had ever met. I remember being so impressed by her crisp white dress, hose, and shoes, but most of all, that cap with the black stripe. I knew then that is what I wanted to be, and I have never wavered from wanting to be a nurse,” said Tomlin.

After graduating from nursing school, Tomlin had job offers from Lowrance Hospital in Mooresville and Iredell Memorial Hospital.

“I chose Iredell because it just felt like home. The staff welcomed me with open arms and took me under their wing and watchful eye,” said Tomlin.

Tomlin began her career at Iredell Memorial Hospital on September 12, 1977, as a licensed practical nurse (LPN), working night shift. She worked on 1 West (now the Skilled Nursing Facility), which was a medical-surgical floor with the capacity for 41 patients ranging from pediatrics, to surgical, to oncology. While working as an LPN, she went back to school and got her degree as a registered nurse.

“After getting my RN, I continued to work on 1 West for probably a couple of years. I then accepted a position in endoscopy. I worked in endoscopy for approximately 18 years, 15 of which I was the head nurse,” said Tomlin.

For the past 22 years, Tomlin has been a dedicated nurse in the emergency department.

Throughout her 47 years at the hospital, Tomlin has seen many changes in healthcare.

“I have many memories having worked here for so long. In the beginning, we only had glass thermometers, manual blood pressure cuffs, and stainless-steel bedpans. We also had to count drops to regulate IVs. At night, we had three people working on the floor. One RN, one LPN, and an orderly/CNA,” she said.

Tomlin has witnessed the tremendous growth of Iredell Health System.

“The growth of Iredell Health System is beyond anything I could have ever imagined. We started as a small community hospital, then the Nunnery Tower opened, providing a new state-of-the-art facility. CT scanners were added, then MRI, and then a cardiac cath lab — the list of advancements is endless,” said Tomlin.

When asked why she stayed at Iredell for over four decades, Tomlin says it’s her home.

“I have stayed at Iredell Memorial Hospital because it is one of the best places to work. I have never had the first thought of leaving. Iredell is home to me. I have always been treated fairly and with respect. Management provides the best working environment possible and is always available to provide support and encouragement,” she said.

The culture at Iredell Memorial Hospital sets a high standard for its staff and provides opportunities for personal and professional growth.

“Staff and the organization itself have shared values and goals for providing the community with the best possible healthcare,” said Tomlin.

Tomlin believes that Iredell Health System’s nonprofit status and commitment to the community sets it apart from other healthcare organizations.

“Their focus remains on providing excellent patient care and providing the necessary equipment and facilities to meet these needs,” she said.

Tomlin feels immense pride in her long tenure at Iredell Health System.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to be part of Iredell Health System for all these years. I can’t count the times that I’ve felt pride when telling someone I work at Iredell Memorial. This is my home and my family,” she said.

Iredell Health Honors Long-Serving Employees: A Conversation with Marsha Tomlin (2024)

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