Displaying passion for her work

That satisfying feeling of making an impact on the lives of others has kept Betty Damman in the nursing field for nearly 40 years.

The care and compassion she shows for patients has earned her the Times-Republican Nursing Excellence award for 2013.

Damman has worked at Marshalltown Medical & Surgical Center for nearly four decades and is currently a nurse in the Emergency Room.

“I’ve just enjoyed the whole profession,” Damman said. “When you know for sure you’ve made a difference in somebody’s life it’s rewarding. I value my job a lot.”

Damman lives in rural Melbourne with her husband Jeff. They have two adult children and five grandchildren.

She has worked in the Emergency Room for the past 10 years and said every day is challenging because you don’t know what’s going to come through that door.

“You have to stay focused at what you’re doing,” she said.

What helps her stay focused is a dedicated staff at MMSC.

“Somebody has always got your back and always willing to help out,” she said.

Damman was shocked to learn she had been selected for this nursing award. She said there’s not one person who makes the hospital work – it’s the team.

“It was very much a surprise,” Damman said.

Damman was nominated for the award by MMSC co-worker Judi Pfantz. Pfantz said Damman is completely focused on helping patients feel better.

“I believe Betty puts forth her heart and soul in caring for each patient as if they were her own relative,” Pfantz wrote in her nomination letter. “Many who have worked with Betty over the years can attest to her work ethic and commitment as a nurse.”

Damman grew up in rural St. Anthony on a dairy farm with nine brothers and sisters. She continues to live the farm life as her husband and son farm as well.

As far as her future, Damman said she has no plans to slow down anytime soon.

“I really don’t have any plans for retirement,” Damman said. “I’m not a hobby person, I mostly just work, whether here or on the farm.”

The three other nominees for the Nursing Excellence award this year were Denise Holubar of McFarland Clinic, Shannon Anderson of Iowa Home Care and Kathy Stackhouse of MMSC.