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After 34 years, Julie Norlin retires

After 34 years, Julie Norlin retires

Julie Norlin has worn many hats in her 34 years at Campbell County Health. As a registered nurse, she has worked in ICU, Medical/Surgical Unit, Emergency Department, Utilization Review and was a Clinical Nurse Educator, Trauma Coordinator, SANE Coordinator, Infection Preventionist and Employee Health Nurse. The common thread of all those experiences—continuous learning for her and sharing that knowledge with others.

Julie moved to Gillette and started at Campbell County Health in 1982 after receiving her Associate Degree in Nursing from Casper College, and her bachelor of science in nursing from the University of Wyoming. After working in Casper for five years and spending four years in Laramie, Julie chose Gillette primarily because her husband wanted to be closer to his roots in the Black Hills.

Julie’s favorite department was the Emergency Department (ED). She called it a challenge because you never knew what type of patient would come through the door. Emergency nursing enabled her to use all her nursing skills, from pediatric assessment to trauma care.

ED nurse Jari Bachmann worked with Julie, and remembers that “Julie was a great teacher for cardiac and trauma patients.”

Program development was Julie’s special talent, and she was responsible for many of the programs and services that are still in place at CCH today. She set up the Utilization Review program, now called Care Management, visiting patients, and working with physicians and insurance companies to authorize hospital stays. She set up the oncology program in the 1980s, writing policies and procedures, researching and ordering the correct supplies and equipment for chemotherapy administration. Julie’s love of emergency nursing took her back to the ECD to set up the trauma review program, staying involved through three successful trauma surveys. She is proud of the improvements in trauma care for patients at CCH. Julie also set up the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE program) which trained nurses to be patient advocates in cases of sexual assault, ensuring that evidence collection was consistent and accurate.

Cathy Heimann, an ECD clinical supervisor, worked with Julie in the Emergency department.

“Julie was my mentor when I first started in nursing”, said Cathy. “My goal was to be as good a nurse as Julie was and live up to her standards. She was my inspiration, and is one of the reasons I’ve been in the Emergency department for the last nineteen years.”

Julie remembers the early years of nursing before IV pumps, when nurses counted the drips in IV tubing to get correct dosages. They didn’t wear gloves when starting IVs, and there weren’t the same precautions with chemo medications as there are today.

“There’s a much greater emphasis on safety now for everyone, patients and nurses”, says Julie.

She is especially proud to have received the Norman S. Holt award for nursing excellence in 1992. She also received several clinical excellence awards from the Wyoming Nurses Association, was one of the few nurses to be certified in both Critical Care nursing (CCRN) and Emergency Nursing (CEN), and was selected by her fellow employees as the Employee of the Year in 1992.

Julie is currently working through some health issues, but is looking forward to planting a big flower garden, vegetable garden and showcasing as much color as she can with flowers through the spring and summer.

Thank you Julie, for your dedication to CCH. Now, enjoy your retirement!