Barton Profile: Kathy Brock

Kathy Brock
(Story and Photo by Joe Vinduska)

Kathy Brock - Student Health Nurse (RN)


Hoisington, Kan.

How long have you worked at Barton Community College?

This is my 10th year.

Where were you employed before working for Barton?
Great Bend Regional Hospital and Central Kansas Medical Center. I am a master of all trades. I spent 15 years as an operating room nurse and prior to that I worked in the Intensive Care Unit.

Why did you choose to work at Barton?
I saw this opportunity come up, and I thought this would be a good career change and a new challenge.

What is your favorite part about your job?

The kids! They drive me crazy sometimes, but I love them to death. I love to know what these kids are doing because it’s fascinating and I learn a lot from them.

What is the most challenging part?
What I mean by driving me crazy is that often times I have given them the power, knowledge and the resources to take care of themselves, but when they leave my office, it’s up to them to use what I’ve provided them to stay healthy, and a lot of times they might not do what they need to do, and they’ll either not get better or maybe even get worse, but they are college kids and traditionally they don’t always eat what they should, or get the amount of rest they need, etc.

Any projects or events you’re excited for?
I am working on the wellness program for the college. To me this is an exciting thing, and it will be beneficial to everybody. If we can get the faculty and staff making healthy decisions, the results of these decisions will trickle down and be beneficial to the students and our families.  

What made you want to get into the healthcare industry?
I had a lot of aunts that were nurses, and I just love taking care of people. I’ve always had that love and that passion.

Were you ever scared of blood, or any of the “icky” stuff that scares some people about the medical world?

No, I love blood and guts! I really do. All the other things like people getting ‘sick’ and anything else doesn’t bother me, but I will tell you, one thing I really can’t stand— phlegm!

What advice would you give someone who is afraid of the icky stuff? Is there any hope for them in the healthcare industry?
They may realize that it’s not as bad as what they thought, but there are also avenues of nursing where you don’t have to deal with it as much, but all nurses will have to go through dealing with it during their training. So it’s just something they’d have to get into and find out if it really bothers them or not.

It’s cold and flu season. What are some basic tips to keep everybody on the defense?
Two things. First, wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands! Secondly, don’t touch your face with your hands! Sometimes I’ll wash my hands six times with one patient. That’s why I never get sick. If you have to scratch you face or rub your eyes, use the back of your hand. Nothing is dirtier than your fingers.

Do you kind of feel like everybody’s stand-in “mom” as the nurse?
Yes. I’m comfortable with that role. I always offer hugs! Sometimes I have kids come in and all they want is a hug! I consider them all ‘my kids.’

What is it like for you, as a nurse, receiving care from another nurse?
Most of the times I just take care of myself, but it’s kind of nice for someone to be pampering me for a change because I don’t get that. Not even at home because I’m the caretaker.

How do you spend time outside of work?
Right now my life revolves around my three year-old grandson, Colton. We really get to spend a lot of time with him, but in the growing season I also love my flowers. I get up early and work on them and that’s my time. It’s quiet and peaceful, and I take great pride in my yard.

Do you have any cool nick names?
Puddin’. Especially, with my family. It was just something an aunt called me when I was young and it just stuck.

There are two types of people, those who like candy corn, and those who do not. Which type are you?
Yuck. I don’t!

See, I told you.

Did you jump in leaf piles a lot as a child? Do you still?
Yes! And yes!

Do you like candles?

I have an Autumn Leaves Yankee Candle in my home that we light during this time of year. It smells delightful. You should get one.
Ok, when I go candle shopping I’ll look for one.

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