When she’s on break, Rhonda Eaton sits in her favourite chair, puts her feet up and has a gab with her nursing mates. This will be her last year for gab-fests though. Eaton is retiring.
And although she’s leaving, she’s leaving in a blaze of glory. The 39-year nursing veteran this year received the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions registered practical nurse of the year award.
Eaton was honoured with the award on June 5 at a ceremony at the Smiths Falls site of the Perth-Smiths Falls District Hospital.
While she will indeed miss her fellow nurses in the medical-surgical ward at the hospital, Eaton says she will have lots to do in her retirement – “cleaning cupboards,” she says with a grin, “and painting.”
Eaton initially started tole painting, and over the years has slowly honed her art to landscapes, animals and her brown and white party pooch. She works in acrylics. Word-of-mouth advertising leaves her with only a few of her own paintings but she’s content to see them go to friends.
Praised by her co-workers for her unfailing dedication to patients and mentoring younger nurses, Eaton will be missed when she retires.