The Memorial Hospital's Emergency Department Lead Dave Higgins has been voted Moffat County's best nurse for the third time.

Courtesy photo

The Memorial Hospital's Emergency Department Lead Dave Higgins has been voted Moffat County's best nurse for the third time.

Best of Moffat County: Dave Higgins wins best nurse

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— Most people probably would agree that going to the emergency room isn’t exactly a day at the beach. Fortunately for Moffat County, Emergency Department Lead for The Memorial Hospital ER Dave Higgins has a knack for making things seem a little sunnier.

“I’ve always tried to treat my patients honestly,” Higgins said. “They’re in a position where they’re vulnerable and scared. I try to always remember no matter how hectic things are that I’m taking care of a person and not a medical chart.”

Higgins, a 50-year-old father of three with two grandchildren, came to nursing later in life than most.

“I was a part-time EMT and one of the most interesting things to me and what I really enjoyed was taking a patient into the ER and seeing what the staff did,” Higgins recounted. “I was drawn to it, definitely.”

At age 33, Higgins enrolled in nursing school at Mesa State College, living outside of Craig for the first and only time in his life.

“My family was supportive but unsure if it was a good idea to rip up roots and go out on faith,” Higgins said, noting that at the time only around 4 percent of nurses were men. “It’s funny how things in life come around.”

Higgins graduated at age 36, after struggling to cope with a full class schedule and the three jobs he held to support his family.

Returning home to Craig came as a relief, but being in the medical field in a small community had challenges of it’s own.

“It’s odd, it’s a bit stressful when people come in that I’ve known my whole life,” Higgins said. “It wouldn’t happen in Denver, that’s for sure, but it does make me strive to do a better job and it’s a very rewarding field.”

Higgins is grateful to the community for showing him so much support throughout the years. This will be his third best nurse award, and although Higgins never set out to win personal accolades, he admits it doesn’t exactly hurt to be commended.

“It makes you feel good to be recognized and it makes you want to keep going,” he said. “It’s really appreciated and makes me want to just keep doing a great job and supporting the community.”

Andie Tessler can be reached at 970-875-1793 or atessler@craigdailypress.com.

Best of Moffat County 2013

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