It's been 11 years since Jonni Tucker joined the Marietta City Health Department staff as a registered nurse, and she says the job has been a good fit for her.
Question: Why did you choose a nursing career?
Answer: I've always known that I wanted to do something that helped people, so nursing seemed like an obvious choice.
SAM SHAWVER The Marietta Times
Jonni Tucker, RN, administers an immunization at the Marietta City Health Department Wednesday.
Also my grandmother encouraged me. She wanted to become a nurse, but had to leave nursing school after she and my grandfather were married. It was my grandmother and other members of my family who encouraged me to go into nursing.
Q: How did you end up with the city health department?
A: I had been working at Marietta Memorial Hospital for a short time when (Nursing Director) Vickie Kelly contacted me about the job.
- Occupation: Registered Nurse for the Marietta City Health Department.
- Age: 32.
- Education: Marietta High School and Washington State Community College.
- Family: Husband Gary, and 7-year-old daughter Julia.
I like teaching, too, and this job is a good mix of both nursing and teaching. I teach people about the correct use of car seats and seat belts for children, or how to properly fit and wear bicycle helmets. I also talk to patients who may have contracted a disease about ways to prevent their illness from spreading.
Q: You also travel to area businesses and agencies to conduct immunization clinics.
A: Yes. We go into local schools, too, to help with health screenings, and we provide health presentations for various organizations as well as work with children through the Safe Kids Coalition and during annual events like Safetytown.
Q: How do you deal with kids when immunization time rolls around?
A: The actual act of giving shots to children is not a favorite part of the job. But then I know it's necessary and important to give immunizations to prevent diseases.
It used to be when I went into the schools kids would call me "the shot lady." But we began using a "treasure chest" of little toys we hand out to children when they receive their immunizations. Now I'm known as the lady with the treasure chest.
Q: After 11 years, do you still enjoy the work?
A: I plan to be here for some time. In most nursing jobs you're dealing with people who are already sick, but here we're all about wellness and keeping people healthy.
Sam Shawver conducted this interview.