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Iredell Health System’s Assistant Director of PACU, Outpatient Surgery Retires After 42 Years

Friday, January 18, 2019

Karen Hiott, Iredell Memorial Hospital’s assistant director of Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) and Outpatient Surgery (OPS), is retiring after working with Iredell Memorial since July 1976.

“I’ve been blessed to serve the people of Iredell County,” Hiott said. “I have lived here all my life and feel it was my calling to serve others as a nurse. I served in different capacities and have been blessed along the way to serve new people, help mentor new nurses, make friends, and see the hospital grow. It’s something I will truly miss.”

Hiott volunteered in different roles for Iredell Memorial between 1971 and 1973, earned a diploma in nursing from Mercy School of Nursing in Charlotte, and then returned to the hospital where she worked for 42 years.

Hiott began as a second-shift charge nurse before becoming a head nurse of the Two North Nursing Unit. She worked at a physician’s office while maintaining a pro re nata (PRN), as needed, status with Iredell Memorial for two years before returning to the hospital as a PACU nurse. After several years as a nurse in PACU and Outpatient Surgery, she assumed her current role as its assistant director.

Hiott served in various capacities as a member of the North Carolina Association of PeriAnesthesia Nurses before becoming its vice president and then president.

When Iredell Memorial transitioned from paper to electronic nursing records between 2010 and 2012, Hiott helped build and implement the Cerner electronic medical record database and trained OPS and PACU staff on the electronic records.

Hiott regularly participated in Relay for Life and in fundraisers for the Iredell Memorial Hospital Institute for Nursing Excellence and Innovation, which helps provide academic scholarships.

“Karen always has a caring smile which comforts patients and staff. She will do whatever is needed,” said Becky Quate, Iredell Health System’s vice president of nursing and patient care services. “Karen will be greatly missed. I am excited for her as she starts this new chapter in her life.”