Body and soul: Moffat County’s best nurse tends to patients’ physical, emotional well-being
June 23, 2011
If you're a patient under the care of nurse Dave Higgins, it's a safe bet you're probably going through a rough patch.
Higgins, 48, is the clinical lead in the emergency department at The Memorial Hospital in Craig. He also oversees the hospital's new infusion clinic for chemotherapy patients.
This year, Higgins was named best nurse in Moffat County in the Craig Daily Press' 2011 Best of Moffat County contest.
Higgins said he provides two types of care: clinical and emotional.
"When I see patients, they're in a situation where they're very vulnerable and very afraid in some circumstances, and very sad in some circumstances," he said. "I do my best to make a connection with each patient, to look them in the eye and let them know I'm here for them."
Higgins was born and raised in Craig.
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He formerly worked for Victory Motors of Craig, but took an interest in patient care in his mid-30s.
"I changed body styles, you might say," Higgins joked.
Due to his long ties with the community, Higgins often knows the patients he treats before they walk through the door.
Those personal relationships make it easier to establish care, but it also means patients expect more from him, he said.
"It's a double-edged sword because it puts that extra expectation on you," he said.
All the same, Higgins said he prefers to work in a smaller-sized community hospital where such connections are possible and the daily impact is
"You invest yourself into a community and hope you're making a difference," he said. "I'm a small-town guy. That's where I want to stay and what I like."