The woman thought to be the oldest nurse in America is retiring from duty after a whopping seven decades of service.
As per CNN, Florence “SeeSee” Rigney, who lives in Washington, has been attending patients and helping doctors since the 1950s. Now aged 96, she decided last week that it was finally time to hang up her scrubs.
As per the MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital, Rigney served as an operation room nurse, where she was responsible for prepping operating rooms to the specifications of the surgeons operating in them and getting patients ready for their surgeries.
Laureen Driscoll, president of MultiCare Tacoma General and Allenmore Hospitals, said in a statement: “Even working into her nineties, SeeSee has never been one to slow down. Some of her colleagues joked that they had to sprint to keep up with her.”
For an idea of just how long Florence has been a nurse, as per the press release from MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital, her career first began back when penicillin had not long been introduced to the field of medicine.
“She’s continued to be a dedicated nurse and an incredible resource to her colleagues and community,” Driscoll continued. “It’s humbling to stop and think about the thousands and thousands of lives she’s cared for.”
SeeSee actually briefly considered retirement when she was 65 and even handed in her papers. Before long, however, she decided that she simply couldn’t step away completely, and returned to working part-time.
“I don’t like to sit around — I’ve always got to have something to do. That’s my nature,” said Florence.
“I don’t know exactly what made me want to become a nurse, but it was something that I always wanted to do. I love to interact with patients and give them the help that I can.”
Florence says she’s looking forward to being able to spend more time with her family in the wake of her full retirement.
I don’t know about you, but Florence Rigney certainly seems like an inspirational character to me.
How amazing is it that she served her community all the way up until she was 95? Completely selfless!
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