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One-of-a-Kind RN Repeats Honors as Morris Hospital’s Fire Starter of the Month

One-of-a-Kind RN Repeats Honors as Morris Hospital’s Fire Starter of the Month
October 31, 2022 Janet Long

One-of-a-Kind RN Repeats Honors as Morris Hospital’s Fire Starter of the Month

October 31, 2022, Morris, IL – Sandy Valdes, of Morris, is among the most respected, caring, role model registered nurses at Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers. Now, the 20 year veteran medical/surgical RN is among the elite few who have twice been selected as Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers’ Fire Starter of the Month.

“There’s nobody like Sandy,” said Kathy Rombach, 2 South Manager at Morris Hospital. “She’s unbelievable, always professional and upbeat. Along with being a role model and great leader, she is someone I can always count on. And her patients love her. She truly is one-of-a-kind.”

When asked why she became a nurse, Valdes says that as a child, she was routinely asked to accompany Spanish speaking family members and friends to their medical appointments and serve as their translator. During those appointments, doctors would explain things in a way Valdes could understand, and then she would in turn explain to the patient she was accompanying. She believes those experiences helped her find her true calling, along with a course catalog from Joliet Junior College.

“Initially I was preparing for a business career but then changed my mind after opening a JJC catalog and seeing the schedule of nursing classes,” says Valdes, who has been part of Morris Hospital’s 2 South medical/surgical nursing unit for her entire 20 year nursing career. “Helping others and listening is something that comes naturally to me.”

Valdes’s special traits go even deeper. Her co-workers say she is consistently cheerful, kind, timely, thorough, and knowledgeable, and that she has a special way of making everyone around her – staff and patients – feel important and valued. Described as a “true gem in our healthcare community,” Valdes is clearly among the best when it comes to providing patient care.

“Sandy gives 110% of herself to every patient, every time,” wrote Morris Hospital registered nurse Tayler Andrjeski, in nominating Valdes as Fire Starter of the Month. “She does everything in her power to do right for her patients. The fact that Sandy has been on 2 South for so long is such a blessing. She strives to give our patients the best stay possible.”

Among her vast talents, Valdes has served in the Charge RN role since 2012, another way she makes a big impact at Morris Hospital.

“Sandy inspires us to keep excellence a priority because you can see that it is a priority for her,” Andrjeski added. “Her compassion for her profession shines through every day.  She is the best role model for current and future nurses. I hope one day that I will have the impact on nurses the way Sandy has made an impact on me.”

When asked what inspires her to give her best every day, Valdes said, “I was born at Morris Hospital and my family has always lived in Morris. This is my way of giving back and sharing my talent with my own community. I like it when my patients know me. It’s been great because Morris Hospital was my first choice.”

In early civilizations, fire starters were individuals who had the important job of keeping the flame alive. With over 1,400 employees, Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers is the largest employer in Grundy County.

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