Heart of Health Care honorees in York |

Editor’s note: Over the past few years, the York News-Times has celebrated our area nurses during Nurses Week which begins on May 6 every year, which is Florence Nightingale’s birthday. With the understanding of the challenges in the past few years and the dedication above and beyond which our nurses demonstrate, we are happy to present to you “Nurses: The Heart of Healthcare” featuring 10 exceptional nurses in our community. In partnership with York General, we asked the community for nominations to celebrate our local nurses full of heart. From here, we owe a big thanks to our panel of judges who helped us narrow down the field. Thank you to everyone who joined in celebrating these people and making the nominations – and also to our panel. Thank you to our partner, York General, in this second annual edition of the York News-Times. Last, but most certainly not least, thank you to all the dedicated nursing professionals. Your care for our loved ones does not go unnoticed.

YORK – Alicia Witter, a York High School and Bryan Hospital School of Nursing graduate, has settled down in her hometown to serve patients at the York General Specialty Clinic and, with her husband, to raise a family.

The Witters are parents to “two little boys, 4 and 2,” she says with a warm smile. Her occupational hours are taken up as a full-time RN on staff at the Specialty Clinic adjacent to York General Hospital.

The Specialty Clinic accommodates specialists from outside the York General Healthcare System who each meet their own patients in York. Typically a physician or other provider from elsewhere meets certain patients halfway when both travel to York Specialty Clinic. At present 53 doctors or other providers of specialized medical services see patients in York.

Witter is one of the permanent, local staff whose many and various job duties support the comings and goings of this cadre of mobile professionals and, of course, their patients.

Since receiving her registered nursing license in 2014, Witter has worked at the Specialty Clinic all but nine months. Her own specialties at York General have included, among others, medical-surgery, obstetrics and oncology.

According to its website, the York General Specialty Clinic is located at the south end of the Hospital near the main entrance. The Specialty Clinic provides local access to a wide variety of specialists whose primary practices are in Lincoln, Omaha, Hastings, Grand Island, Norfolk or Columbus but who maintain regular schedules in York.

Specialties available at the local clinic include: allergy and asthma, audiology, cardiology, dermatology, ear/nose/throat, electrophysiology, oncology/gynecology, orthopaedics, pain management, plastic surgery, podiatry, nephrology, nerve conduction, neurology, neurosurgery, obstetrics and gynecology, psychology, pulmonology, spine surgery, urology, vascular surgery and wound care.

So, what attracted Witter to nursing in the first place?

“My mom is a nurse, so that my decision,” she answered. “I’ve always known I wanted to be in healthcare and take care of people. I always kinda knew I wanted to be in nursing.”

The Specialty Clinic is unique for the diversity of services provided there by well more than four dozen providers and their own staff they bring to York with them. Some bring a core group of one or two of their own people with them. Others, however, come alone, instead upon Witter and many other York General employees like her.

“The variety” in the work, she acknowledges, “is nice.” No ruts to get stuck in at this workplace. “There are so many aspects you can do. You can branch off and do all kinds of things,” she says.

Witter says she’s found the place for her in nursing.

“I don’t have any plans to go anywhere else” any time soon, she said. “I like the hospital” environment in York and, after going elsewhere for those few months, she’s back for the long haul. “I feel like it’s a great organization to work for,” she added.

Someone – specifically her anonymous nominator for this recognition – thinks she’s pretty great, too, writing: “Alicia always gives her caring compassion (and) love for those she helps take care of. She gives her all in her work and with her family. She loves what she does every day and does not skip a beat.”

What advice would Witter offer young people consider the profession, but perhaps not yet certain it’s for them?

Job shadowing is one valuable tip she offered up.

“I think it’s great when people come to shadow” nurses, or most any other occupation for that matter. “when they don’t really know what the job entails,” and following someone who does what the youngster is considering for his or her life’s work for a day or week or month is priceless in making an informed decision whether to pursue or seek a career elsewhere.

“We have high school students come shadow all around the hospital to see what they do and don’t like,” she commented. Obviously, to her that is time well invested.

As to nursing as a career, she said, “It can be emotionally and physically hard, but there’s a lot of reward you can get out of it as well.”

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