Posted 11/17/15 (Tue)
By Kevin Killough
A lot can change in 43 years.
It was a different world when Deneille Soine first started nursing. At the time, there weren’t nearly as many career choices, especially for women.
“At that time, women were either a secretary, a teacher, or a nurse. And I wanted to be a nurse,” Soine explained.
Soine started as a nurse in 1972 and retired last week. Her co-workers held a party in the breakroom of the new clinic at Tioga Medical Center.
When Soine first came to TMC, the old clinic hadn’t even been built yet. The hospital had 30 beds and the long-term care wing had 10 beds. After she began her career, they added the nursing home.
Everything was much smaller and more sparse back then. Soine, who has lived in Ray her whole life, said she recalled having much quieter drives home.
“I’d drive home at 11 o’clock at night and maybe meet one car between here and Ray,” she said.
She recalled how they would pick up nurses who lived in Tioga by snowmobile, because they had to have nurses on duty.
And sometimes she’d come to work and end up stuck at work when the weather went bad, working through a second shift.
One time shortly after the nursing home opened, a blizzard developed while she was working her shift. She ended up staying in the facility, which was still not complete. There weren’t even curtains on the windows.
She and two other nurses slept in the same room while they waited out the storm.
She also remembered how flooded the hospital got during the oil boom of the 1980s. They had to put hospital beds in the hallways when they ran out of rooms.
“There’s been a lot of moments I remember,” she said.
Ryan Mickelsen, CFO of the hospital, said the experienced nurse is going to be missed.
“When we have someone with over 40 years of experience and she leaves, we lose a lot of knowledge. It’s going to be difficult to replace her,” Mickelsen said.
Now, what’s she planning on doing? She’s not entirely certain, but Soine said she wants to spend more time with her family, including her seven grandchildren.
“I’m going to be doing all the things I’ve been saving for when I had more time,” she said.
She said she will miss the friends she’s worked with over the past four decades, but she’ll still be around from time to time.
“They’re not rid of me yet,” she said.