Pheobe Reed: 40 years at CMH

Pheobe Reed BA, BS, RN, BSN was born and raised on a ranch in Montana. She has degrees in social work, counseling and nursing. She has worked in many departments at CMH: both medical and surgical nursing, ER, CCU, PACU, Case Management, Utilization Review, Risk Management and Quality. She has watched many changes at CMH. A few include:

“In the CCU, we used to stock opium tablets that we had to melt over a small flame and draw up in a syringe. We actually sharpened the needles — they were not disposable, and the syringe was glass.”

“We survived the infamous 1988 Timothy Patrick landmark case, which went to the U.S. Supreme Court. Peer review was forever changed. I sat through the court proceedings as our hospital risk manager, and I developed an intense interest in peer review and standards of care. Those areas of knowledge have served me well.”Pheobe Reed

“We wore white uniforms, with white nursing caps, white hose and white shoes (no sneakers).”

“We had a psychiatrist who did shock therapy on what is now the medical floor — a difficult thing to assist with and watch.”

“Everyone smoked — at the desk, in the halls; it was hard to see across the report rooms, because of the thickness of smoke. We did not remove our last cigarette vending machine until approximately 1990.”

“You wanted to be very careful to note the color on the tip of the glass thermometers. The red-tipped one was only for rectal use.”

“The billing system was different then, and we kept patients longer. We had a young woman with an incurable neurological disease, whose insurance okayed her stay on our medical floor as an acute care patient for over two years.”

Pheobe says all the prior experience she gained from a diverse working history prepared her for each next step.