St.Vincent nurse Elaine Phemister retires after 47 years
By Mark Ambrogi
After nearly 47 years at St.Vincent, Elaine Phemister just felt it was time to retire.
However, that doesn’t mean it was an easy decision.
“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Phemister said on Dec. 31, her final day. “I’ve worked with some of these girls for over 30 years. They become part of your family.”
She’ll miss the job as well.
“I tell people that 50 years ago I made the right decision to become a nurse, because I have truly enjoyed it,” Phemister said. “I will miss the patients and their families.”
She graduated from the St.Vincent School of Nursing like her late mother, Mary Margaret Bradley, had before her. Phemister, 67, started at the St.Vincent Hospital on Fall Creek Parkway in Indianapolis.
St.Vincent Indianapolis moved to its new location at 86th Street in Indianapolis. She then started at St.Vincent Carmel when it opened in 1985. In recent years, she has been working in the outpatient surgery area.
Phemister’s fellow nurses will miss her greatly.
“She dedicated and she’s selfless,” Annette Davis said. “If you had a family member here, you want her taking care of them. She would be the kind you would want. She’s been a great mentor for me.”
Teresa Hook has worked with her in Carmel since 1985.
“What I’ll remember most is in the winter if there is going to be a blizzard or something and she had to work the next day, she would come here and stay all night,” Hook said. “Patients come first with her. She’s always been very dedicated in taking care of everybody and everything. She always happy and always has a smiling face.”
Phemister said she and her husband, Barry, want to travel in retirement.
“We wanted to do that before we both got too old,” said Phemister, who lives on the northwest side of Indianapolis.
Phemister has two daughters. Belinda Loureiro lives in Westfield with three children and Amy Phemister is a nurse at Riley Hospital.