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Thanks for Working Here This Week: Darla Parks

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Thanks for Working Here This Week: Darla Parks

Meet Darla Parks, registered nurse in Professional Development.

Darla has been a registered nurse for 38 years and has been in healthcare for 42 years; celebrating 19 years with CCH this October.

Darla graduated from South Dakota State University in 1984. She began her nursing career at Fort Meade Veterans Administration Medical Center in Sturgis, South Dakota, and then moved to Sundance in 1987. Darla came to Gillette to work as a Nursing Instructor for Gillette College. At Campbell County Health, Darla provides instruction for CNA, CNA II, MA-C, LPN IV-C, Team, ACLS, and CPR courses. She also coordinates annual clinical competencies for The Legacy, Home Health and Hospice, and CCMG clinics. She chairs the CCH Fall Committee, coordinates the CNA Residency Program, and assists with the RN Residency Program.

One of Darla’s healthcare heroes was her mother. When Darla began her healthcare career as a nursing assistant, she worked in the same facility as her mother, who was a nursing assistant for over 20 years.

“She was dedicated to the residents and took extra time to make sure the residents had a higher quality of life and that their needs were met, “said Darla. “She also had a wonderful work ethic. I can remember her spending the night in the basement of the facility several times if bad weather was expected, to make sure she was there to provide care to the residents.”

Darla’s current healthcare hero is CCH Chief Nursing Officer Natalie Tucker.

“She is an excellent example of what someone dedicated to CCH and patient care looks like, said Darla. “Natalie sets goals and establish steps to attain those goals and is willing to work alongside staff to facilitate their learning and skills.”

Darla has great pride in seeing her students flourish and be successful in their healthcare careers. She strives to make her classes rewarding and utilizes various techniques like gamification, hands-on skills, Escape Room, SIMS, and reversing the classroom to facilitate learning. She teaches in a way designed to reach students with different learning styles, including online.

Darla recently received a phone call from a CNA she had worked with, who recently graduated with her Nursing Degree. She thanked Darla and said she hopes to be a nurse who advocates for her patients like Darla did during her own clinical training.

To Darla, Excellence Every Day means that student learning is facilitated in a manner that engages all students and staff in their learning process.

Says Darla, “Excellence Every Day is not just practiced in the classroom, but it is the little things too, such as helping a resident put a hand splint back on at The Legacy, taking time to say hello in the hallway, and providing assistance to visitors in finding the department they are looking for. “

During her free time, Darla loves spending time with her children and granddaughter, saying “they make life worth living”. She also enjoys working in her vegetable and flower gardens and canning produce. Darla is learning to quilt and has completed a couple of quilts for her grandchildren. She says, “quilting is like teaching, in that small steps result in a bigger project or outcome”.

Thank you Darla, for the work you do every day at Campbell County Health. We appreciate all that you do.

  • Category: CCH News, Employee Recognition, Health News