Dorothy (Dottie) Mae Graham, RN, Celebrates 50 Years in Nursing

        Michael F. Beshel, Director of Nursing Operations, (left), recently honored Dottie Graham, RN, for
                                                celebrating 50 years in the nursing profession.

Dorothy (Dottie) Mae Graham is a nurse on 2 West at the Bucks County Campus and has become a legend to all who have worked with her since entering the nursing profession 50 years ago. We would like to recognize her as she celebrates this milestone anniversary. “It has been a long and very eventful journey, nonetheless, all worth it,” says Dottie.

After graduating on May 27, 1958 from Misericordia Hospital School of Nursing, Dottie accepted a position at Nazareth Hospital in the Pediatric Unit. Over Christmas of that same year, she accepted her husband’s marriage proposal. Soon afterwards, Holy Redeemer Hospital opened its doors. Many nurses left Nazareth for Holy Redeemer, which hindered the staffing at Nazareth. Dottie recalls a nun on her floor stating, “Since you’ve caught your man, I going to change your hours to the 3 to 11 shift.”Quick-witted Dottie, not happy with the idea of working 3 to 11 at that time, replied, “I may have caught him, but how do you expect me to keep him?” Needless to say, Dottie left Nazareth after only six months of employment and joined the Lower Bucks County Private Duty Nurses Registry. In this role, Dottie cared for critically ill patients before there was an ICU or CCU on and off from 1959 until 1967.

In 1961 Dottie also worked for a General Practitioner’s office. During that same year, she briefly left Pennsylvania and moved to Oklahoma where her husband was stationed in the military. While there, Dottie worked at the Southwestern Clinic. Her stay was short but sweet. She stayed six weeks before returning to Pennsylvania to live with her mother, as her husband had received orders to ship out to Korea for the war. Upon her return, she continued to keep active in both the General Practitioner’s office and private duty nursing.                                                                             

In 1971 Dottie joined the hospital now known as Frankford-Bucks. She first accepted a PRN position at Delaware Valley Hospital when it was located in Bristol, PA. Dottie states she worked “everywhere but the OR.” Years later, Dottie followed Delaware Valley Hospital when it moved from Bristol to Langhorne and also maintained employment through the Frankford Health Care System acquisition.

Dottie has a wonderful spirit, a wealth of knowledge and is a key member of the Frankford family and 2 West team. She has persevered through the decades we read about and think, “Oh, how did that ever work?” These past memories include glass syringes, smoking in the hospital, catheter and suture kits that were once sterilized and reused, and a time when gloves were for doctors’ use only! Dottie still takes pride in her uniform and she is the only nurse on the unit you can find wearing her nurse’s cap. She has experienced a lot over the past 50 years of her career and her sage advice is, “Keep current with your education.” Dottie states the changes over the years have been “overwhelming,” but you can’t be afraid to be receptive to change. When asked if she’s exhausted or ready to retire, she replied, “I love what I do. Why else would I still be doing it after all these years? And I’ll retire when I’m good and ready!”