There are 104 nursing specialties, according discovernursing.com. The majority of nurses in these specialties provide direct patient care in hospitals, but careers also exist in management, research and outpatient clinics. Throughout the week, the Lake Sun will feature a variety of nursing careers available at Lake Regional Health System. Today, we are profiling exceptional nurses who help patients as they transition from a major illness or surgery to skilled nursing and eventually to their own home.
Irene Loboda, R.N., House Supervisor
LRHS Employee Since 1982
In hospitals, house supervisors, like Irene Loboda, are registered nurses who delegate nursing responsibilities.
“I enjoy this job because it’s fast-paced, challenging and every shift is different,” said Loboda, who visits each unit during her overnight shifts to ensure patients and staff are doing well.
Loboda said she became a nurse to help people and make a difference in their lives, and according to Patti Muxlow, R.N., director of nursing, Loboda definitely does make a difference at Lake Regional.
“Irene makes it her job to know critical information about every patient in the facility during her shifts,” Muxlow said. “She rounds frequently on each unit and is an excellent staff resource.”
In her free time, Loboda enjoys gardening, crocheting, reading and spending time with family.
Claris Denene Kirkpatrick, R.N., Skilled Nursing Unit
LRHS Employee Since 1988
Nurses in Lake Regional’s Skilled Nursing Unit help patients transition from acute care to their homes. Patients in the unit are treated as residents — they wear their own clothes, are served meals in the dining room and participate in activities.
“Lake Regional physicians and staff provide excellent care for patients,” Kirkpatrick said. “It’s very satisfying when you care for a patient that gets better and gets to go home.”
She was inspired to work in health care because her mother worked in health care when Kirkpatrick was young.
In her free time, Kirkpatrick enjoys fishing, photography and scrapbooking.
Judy Mahoney, R.N., Home Health
LRHS Employee Since 1995
Driving skills are a must for some Lake Regional nurses.
When patients are well enough to return home after illness or surgery, they often need follow-up care, like removal of stitches, or education about changing wound dressings. Home Health nurse Judy Mahoney travels hundreds of miles per week throughout the lake area to care for these patients.
“I cannot even remember not wanting to be in health care,” Mahoney said. “I think it stems from my mom. She is an amazing woman, always so nurturing to family and friends.”
Page 2 of 2 - Mahoney said is proud to represent the hospital in her travels.
“My family and I appreciate Lake Regional very much,” said Mahoney, who has two grown children and two grandchildren. “I love the community commitment.”