Community Connections for Health Care

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My Country

by Joan Bachman

From the mimeographed (faded purple) August 1967 Scuttle Butt, the newsletter of our rural hospital/nursing home: (author unknown)

My Country

“How wonderful to live in the United States. It is my home, my country, it is my hope my concern. Here I can work, rest, build, and dream. Here my security for my loved ones. Here my toil is rewarded with an unmatched abundance for my well-being.

Here freedom to live, to think, and to worship is mine, guaranteed by law and our constitution. Here I am part of the government, able to vote, to serve, and to carry my share of the common load. God grant me wisdom and strength to safeguard my country’s welfare with devotion great enough to measure up to her greatness.

So let us pride ourselves on thinking high thoughts, achieving great deeds, living good lives. Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s gift to man. Welcome it in every fair sky, in every drop of rain, and in every flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing. It is the wisest and best to fix our attention on the beautiful and the good, and dwell as little as possible on the evil and false.”

This is still good advice. Back in 1967 things were quieter and slower—more positive; at least in my part of the world. We had the telephone party line for spreading “news”, gravel roads to keep us closer to home, Friday night dances at the nearest steak house for entertainment, and church every Sunday to keep connected. All contributions to today, I guess.

You’ve probably guessed that I’m sorting through shelves of “stuff”, making decisions for what to share and what to toss. Some findings are incomprehensible by today’s standards. Rural Hospital Charge RN—$300 per month ($1.73/hr)—(that meant responsibility for Med-Surg, OB, Nursery, ER, and maybe OR during an 8 hr shift). My first year as Administrator of Hospital & Nursing Home (and on call for whatever needed done) $900 per month. Maybe that’s why volunteering seems like an OK thing to do today.

Watch for occasional “historic” ramblings through 2018. It’s fun to review lessons learned—sometimes over and over (blush).

About the Author

Joan Bachman

Joan Bachman is a Registered Nurse, Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, Registered Health Information Technician, and Faith Community Nurse. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Joan has experience as a Nurse, Administrator, Developer, Trainer, Grant Writer, and served as Administrator of SD State Survey Agency. She has consulted with health care facilities and nonprofit organizations and presented leadership training. Joan is the author of Guidebook for Assisted Living Facilities and Senior Service Providers and Guidebook for Physician Services in the Nursing Facility, and she has published in professional journals.



Funny, I was just remembering that I was thrilled to be aid $325 for my first parish work job at Messiah Lutheran Church in north Fargo. And I was organist as well - Christian Ed and Youth Director and lots of other things thrown in. And I didn’t know it wasn’t a good salary :)

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