As a child, Annette Haberl said she remembers playing nurse with her sister.
After spending nearly 50 years in the profession, Haberl’s time as a nurse is soon coming to an end this month.
Haberl, who is a family medicine nurse at the Carroll McFarland Clinic, said she wanted to go into the field because it would be a challenging, people-oriented profession.
“I thought caring for people would be an opportunity to continue to educate [myself] and [my] patients throughout life,” Haberl said.
As a Christian, Haberl said she could also live her faith through her nursing career. For her education, Haberl attended the DMACC campus in Carroll, where she worked to become a licensed practical nurse. She graduated in 1973.
At the time, Haberl said the campus had a great reputation for its excellent nursing staff, which she believes remains true to this day.
Haberl resides in a farm, saying she’s always lived around the area.
“I like the area,” Haberl said. “My whole family was around here and I just like the community.”
During her education, Haberl said learned about different subsets of nursing, including working in surgery, internal medicine and family medicine, with Haberl deciding to focus on the latter.
For Haberl, working as a family medicine nurse has been an extremely gratifying profession. Going into retirement, Haberl said she’ll miss the patients who’ve become a big part of her life.
“What I really enjoyed the most was caring for the people, and the relationships that you build with them,” Haberl said. “The families that you see coming in, growing up, their children having children. And I enjoy the ongoing education of medicine, the learning, we have excellent physicians here that always answer your questions.”
After many years in the field, Haberl advises those interested in nursing to be prepared for continuous learning throughout their career.
“It’s a truly rewarding profession, but you have to love to learn during your career because it’s ever changing,” Haberl said. “There’s so much to learn and I felt always our physicians here at McFarland were excellent teachers.”
Additionally, Haberl said it’s important to be a team player while working as a nurse.
“You need to listen to the people and your patients to understand their fears and anxiety, have empathy and to be flexible for them,” Haberl said. “Healthcare is an ever-evolving profession, and in my end, it’s truly been a rewarding and exciting, joyful career for me.”
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