By Sue Bero - Times Correspondent
Ron Harris, of Valparaiso, truly makes a difference in people's lives on a daily basis working at The Methodist Hospitals, Southlake Campus in Merrillville.
A registered nurse and crossover supervisor for the midnight shift in the neuro intensive care unit and intermediate care unit, Harris was recently honored for his dedication and hard work by the Northwest Indiana Neuroscience Nurses Association. He was presented with an award celebrating his 20 years of outstanding service to the neuroscience community; May 18 will mark his 26-year anniversary at the hospital.
"Ron is a consummate professional," said Laurie Valentino, director of Neuroscience Services. "He has really taken on a leadership role and mentors the nurses around him. The staff depend on him and know that they can ask him for assistance or clarification whenever they need to."
Harris believes he is still learning after more than two decades on the job.
"When I started, this unit had a reputation for being the best in the region," he said. "I met a lot of great people here that really shaped my nursing career. I still continue to learn every day as technology advances and new techniques are used. I always felt that by learning about the brain you really developed a better understanding of how the whole body functions."
Neuro ICU is a six-bed unit with a 2-to-1 patient nurse ratio and IMCU has 25 beds. Harris is responsible for the units and also has his own patient load.
He describes his fellow employees as "very dedicated and well trained."
Harris is a certified neuro registered nurse and a certified as a trauma nurse specialist in pediatric advanced life support and acute coronary life support.
He most recently became stroke certified.
"I do enjoy what I do," he said. "It's a good feeling to save lives, (to know) patients are still here because of what we do. That's why I went into nursing, to help people and pull them through these emergencies."