A job that started out as a filing clerk for Dr. Rick Schmidt’s Family Practice turned into a career in nursing for Cheryl King.
King moved on to the accounts receivable department and when Carolyn Stringer left with her family to move to Clinton, King came back to help with other duties.
“Dr. Schmidt was always very encouraging telling me he thought I would make a great nurse so I tried,” King explained.
She earned her Licensed Practical Nurse degree at Mid-America Technology Center in 2006, her Registered Nurse degree from OCCC five years later and earned her Bachelor’s in Nursing from Oklahoma City University in 2020.
King worked for Schmidt for 11 years before she ever set foot in a nursing class.
After graduation from LPN school she was hired immediately and turned in an 11 year stint with Loving Care Home Health. At the same time she attended adult education at Mid-America.
The BSN class was offered through OCU but the class met at Norman Regional Hospital. During the course of her 11 years at Loving Care she had become acquainted with four of the other students attending the BSN Course. They bonded and became a group of four for their weekly classes.
On top of all that Mrs. King is a Licensed Wound Care Nurse. She earned that degree in 2008 and continues to keep current to this day.
“We have to get 65 hours of continuing education every five years,” King said. “There is a conference every year where we can earn from 15-18 hours of credit in a four day event.”
King said the conferences are held in various spots like Las Vegas, Florida and all over.
“We have to pay out of our pockets to do that every year. To keep wound care current I’ve got to continue going to the conferences,” she said.
The most challenging part of her job?
“I’d have to say the non-compliance of patients,” she said with a slight chuckle.
Her most rewarding aspect of the job is about the people.
“It’s hard to explain,” she started out slowly. “I love people and just having the ability to help people; to see their lives changed and help people heal.”
King is set to retire from Dr. Schmidt’s clinic February 28.
“We’re going to do some traveling,” she said of herself and husband, Pat. “And we’re going to spend more time with family. But Dr. Schmidt knows he can always call me if need be. I told him if you need me to fill in here or there I’m your girl.”
The Kings moved to Purcell from Shawnee in 1995. They were married in 1998.
Cheryl graduated from Bethel High School in 1986. Pat is a Shawnee Wolves alumni, graduating in 1980.
Right out of high school, Cheryl went to work for the Shawnee News-Star setting type before she moved over to the advertising department. She had started attending Seminole Junior College to study accounting.
She and Pat were working next door to each other in Shawnee, him for Oklahoma Natural Gas and her the newspaper, when the love bug bit hard.
“We met in March and were married in September. When you know, you know,” King said.
They have two children who are both PHS graduates and seven grandchildren.
Pat, who was a Boy Scout Master in Purcell for many years, retired from ONG in 2017 after 37 years with the company.
The favorite part of her job?
“I love wound care but I would say phlebotomy. I love to draw blood.”
She learned the trade working for the home health company some times drawing blood while a person was mowing their yard or farming or whatever.
“You know men, they don’t want to stop what they are doing,” King said.
“You never know what you’re going to get when you walk into someone’s home. You have to be the nurse, the doctor, the TV repairman or whatever they need. But you knew you had to get the blood because no one was coming behind you.”
She may be retiring from Dr. Schmidt’s office but she signed off with a grin, “I’ll be around. A nurse’s job is never done.”
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