Morris Hospital’s December Fire Starter lives by the Golden Rule

Cindy Tallman, RN, is knowledgeable, approachable, compassionate and loyal

Cindy Tallman, the surgical services supervisor at Morris Hospital, was just “6 or 7” years old when she became a “nurse” for the first time, according to a news release from Morris Hospital.

The patient was Tallman’s grandfather, who was dying of cancer. Tallman’s mother, the late Lillian Marshall, always wanted to be a nurse. So she told Tallman, “You’re going to be his nurse,” Tallman said in the release.

“My mother always told me to follow the Golden Rule,” Tallman said in the release. “I’ve tried to live by that.”

Morris Hospital recently honored Tallman as its Fire Starter of the month for December.

In the release, Tallman recalled how her mother also gave Tallman gifts associated with medicine for Christmas or Tallman’s birthday, such as a toy doctor’s baby or female anatomy kit. And the day Tallman’s cat ran away, Tallman’s mother told Tallman that he went to “nurse’s training,” the release said.

At age 13, Tallman became a volunteer candy striper at Morris Hospital. Her main job was filling patients’ water pitchers. Tallman first officially served Morris Hospital as a licensed practical nurse on the midnight shift in 1979, according to the release.

Eighteen months later, Tallman transferred to the surgery department and took a scrub nurse position. After becoming a registered nurse, Tallman eventually became the charge registered nurse in the surgery department and then supervisor in 2013, according to the release.

Linda Wiesbrook, director of surgical services at Morris Hospital, said in the release that Tallman is a “constant” in the surgery department.

“With 40-plus years of [operating room] experience, she’s very knowledge and a great resource for the staff and physicians,” Wiesbrook said in the release. “She has a very approachable personality, is easy to talk to and compassionate about her work, patients and teammates. She’s very loyal to the organization and to all of us.”

The employees from the surgery department who nominated Tallman said in the release that she has handled the pandemic challenges with “grace” and that she cares about the staff’s happiness both personally and professionally.

“Not only did she take on extra responsibility as a supervisor, she also helps scrub and first assist when there are staffing shortages,” the nomination form said in the release. “We can confidently say that this department would not be the same without her.”

For information, visit morrishospital.org.