LVMC staff got creative amid the COVID-19 pandemic today in order to celebrate a cherished employee. Longtime Registered Nurse Patti Field had been looking forward to being recognized Tuesday night at the hospital district’s biannual Ceremony of Champions. The event was postponed due to the pandemic.
Patti has been a fixture at LVMC for 30 years, working primarily as a Perioperative Nurse and Charge Nurse in the post-anesthesia care unit. She was initially hired in 1989 to work in the Emergency Department.
With the ceremony postponed, Patti’s coworkers decided to make sure she was celebrated with a “Special Edition” of the Ceremony of Champions, allowing her to receive her anniversary plaque and plant, enjoy cake and punch and hear speeches about the impact of her service on the hospital and community.
CEO Steve Popkin recognized Patti for serving Lompoc Valley residents and for “bringing brightness to your coworkers and medical staff.”
Perioperative Services Director Sarah Gunter spoke about Patti’s dedication to her profession, her mentoring, her faith, her calmness and how, as a “social butterfly,” Patti knows everyone’s birthday. She was noted as being always available to lend an ear for support and to give advice when needed.
“Everywhere you go in Lompoc, there’s always someone chiming in about the tall blonde nurse, the one who is so sweet,” Sarah said.
Sarah added, “She’s the glue and the heart of this OR, and my feeling and many others, of the hospital. When I think of Lompoc Hospital, I think of Patti.”
In an interview a few years ago, Patti said she always wanted to be either a teacher or a nurse.
“I always had a heart for serving,” she said.
During the Special Ceremony of Champions on Tuesday, other staff members and physicians spoke about working with Patti, who said how much she enjoyed her career.
Chief of Quality Assurance Process Improvement, Risk Management and Infection Control Melissa DeBacker, MSN, spoke about her friendship with Patti.
“Patti is the epitome of what a nurse is,” Melissa said. “She is everything I aspire to be. She has been there for me through thick and thin. She has the voice of an angel. She sings beautifully… Thank you for staying here and working with us and all you have done for all of us.”
Patti was long known as the “IV Queen” for her prowess in that technique.
“I love it,” she said of nursing during a previous interview. “It’s a great career. We work so well together. At the end of the day, we’re all a big family. We really pitch in for one another.”