Employee saves lives through telemetry

Cheryl Long is Boone Hospital Center’s Employee of the Month for August 2013. Click here to nominate someone for Employee of the Month.

Cheryl Long has a detail-oriented mind and a knack for multitasking.

“I’ve always been a tinkerer and I’ve always loved looking for things to do,” she said.

Cheryl Long 2013 August EOM

Cheryl Long

Those personality traits suit her job perfectly as she watches over the heart rhythms of dozens of patients at once.

As a monitor technician in Boone Hospital’s telemetry lab, Cheryl and her coworkers keep a close eye on heart rhythms across the hospital and quickly alert caregivers if they see a troubling pattern.

In her nine years on the job, she can easily recall times when she’s helped save a life. She remembers one instance when she spotted a patient having a heart attack, an observation that led to him having a life-saving pacemaker implanted.

When Cheryl later met the man, he thanked her personally.

“We have saved people’s lives. It’s remarkable,” she said. “When it happens, it’s like ‘Alright, we did that!’”

Cheryl grew up on a farm in Santa Fe, Mo., northeast of Columbia. She was the twelfth of 13 children. Her job at Boone Hospital is what brought her to Columbia, where she now lives with her partner. She has two stepchildren.

Away from work, she enjoys doing puzzles. She also crafts memory bears.

She loves the friendly, professional atmosphere at Boone Hospital and said she values how everyone is treated as an equal.

Her coworkers staged a surprise announcement to let her know she had been selected as employee of the month. When she got the news, her own heart may have skipped a beat.

“I didn’t flat line, but I could have,” she said. “It was really an honor.”

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