Jodi Cregger remembers sitting in a nursing-school class and being less than impressed with the teacher.
The classroom session seemed to focus on the instructor’s background, which didn’t help the students learn.
Cregger then wondered if she could become a teacher and help other students discover what they need to know in the real world. She thought she could offer a better teaching style, and if her track record is any indication, she was right.
Cregger, a registered nurse at St. Rose Health Center, has been training medical professionals for two decades. She also is a paramedic and flight nurse for an air ambulance service but reports for duty at St. Rose’s Convenient Care Walk-in Clinic regularly.
When Cregger isn’t tending to one-on-one patient care, she is training licensed health-care providers in Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support.
“I have this passion for taking care of patients, as well as the training,” Cregger said. “When you think about the large number of students who take these courses, you know you are making a difference – not only to them but to patients you may never meet.
“The providers care for patients every day and use what they learn to save lives,” she explained. “BLS and ACLS are required but PALS is voluntary. Yet, a large majority of St. Rose providers take the initiative to advance their skills any time they can. They know it is important to keep up with new techniques.”
Cregger trains providers all over Kansas and Nebraska. But St. Rose has a special place in her heart.
“As St. Rose was evolving in recent years, they asked me to continue to teach,” Cregger commented. “I didn’t hesitate because I have been in this community for 25 years and it is important to take care of one another.
“I bring the information to the students so they don’t have to travel, which is convenient and saves money,” she continued. “I have the privilege of going all over the state and learning new things. And I definitely learn from my students. It is a give and take.”
Early in Cregger’s career, she was a medical secretary and transcriptionist. She got to know and respect nurses and decided to make a change.
“That was back when nurses wore their white dresses,” Cregger recalled. “I thought they were kind of cool.
“When I told my mom I was going back to school, she about fell over,” she laughed. “And my dad lost his farm hand. He said, ‘there goes my tractor driver.’”
Cregger became a licensed practical nurse in 1990 and an RN the following year. She cared for local patients in med-surg and pediatrics, and served as house supervisor. However, she spent most of her time in the emergency room.
Throughout all the changes in health care, she hasn’t second-guessed her decision to serve St. Rose patients, families and providers.
“I believe in what we do here at St. Rose,” she said. “I am proud of how we provided care when we were a hospital and how we continue the legacy today in our new health-care facility. St. Rose is the wave of the future and I am tickled to be part of it.”