Tim Butterbaugh, RN, Lourdes Hospital 

Tim decided to become a nurse after his mother was sick in the hospital. After experiencing what it was like trying to care for an elderly mother, he wanted to be able to understand and know how to help his parents as they got older. He never again wanted to be in a situation where one of his parents asked him for help and he didn’t know what to do, so he decided to learn about nursing. 

When he decided to turn his interest into a career, he contemplated the career change and what age he would be when he finished nursing school.“How old will you be in two years if you do not pursue this new career?” Asked Tim’s friend. Tim replied, “And he was right.”

One story in particular sticks out to him. A foreign man who did not speak English came into the ICU. He had a serious heart condition and had to be a resident in the hospital for several months. “He had so many tubes and monitors hooked up to him,” said Tim. Though communication was difficult, Tim learned to use body language to ease his fear such as a soft pat on the arm or a warm smile. The man improved and was released from the hospital. Tim walked by the elevators one day to see the man waiting on the elevator with his family to go home. When he saw Tim, he gave him a warm smile and big hug to thank him for all he did before he left. 

“What I have learned is that it is important to educate my patients on what is going on with their medical care so they feel like they are apart of it. Education truly is wealth and I felt like it was important to make sure my patients and their families were knowledgeable about their medical care so it would ease their fear. I learned to not only allow ease my patients’ fears by getting them to smile and laugh, but I also learned to let them do thing to get me to smile and laugh in return. It gives them a sense of control in a situation that is sometimes so uncontrollable and unknown.”

Tim has learned a lot about life through his career, but one life lesson sticks out to him in particular. “Value what you are given in life, especially your health, family and relationships. That is truly what matters at the end of the day,” says Tims. 

Tim Butterbaugh, RN, is a nurse at Lourdes Hospital where he worked as a patient care assistant for six years and in the coronary care unit for the past two years.