GREENE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - If you spend three decades on any job, you're bound to have good days and bad.
Sometimes, finding those good days is no easy task, but Susan O'Neall is a professional.
"I can't ever remember not wanting to be a nurse. I always wanted to be a nurse," O'Neall said.
O'Neall is a registered nurse at Greene County General Hospital. Her goal is to make everyone's life that she meets better.
"I'm kind of a pesky nurse. I guess. I've actually had patients ask me to leave them alone because I want to talk to them and be in their room with them a lot," O'Neall said.
She's been treating patients with all types of illnesses. She's had ups and downs throughout all of them, but nothing has been comparable to her last 12 months during the pandemic.
O'Neall works in the ICU. That means she deals with COVID patients when they're at their worst. She's had to depend on her fellow co-workers to get the encouragement she needs.
"One of us seems to always be having a ray of hope type of day, and we try to instill that in others and try to keep a little joy," O'Neall explained.
Many times, those good days turned into great days, when everything went well, and patients could go home recovered.
"We line up in the hall, and we cheer and sing and clap and hold signs, and it's been really inspirational," O'Neall said.
They call them Celebrations of Joy. They are reasons to smile, and the fuel O'Neall needed to stay afloat. That's because not every day has been joyful.
She chronicled one particularly tough day for News 10.
"It's been kind of a rough day. Lost a patient, which is always sad, but the hardest part of it was that we had some family members pretty upset because they couldn't go and say goodbye. Really hard telling a grandson; he couldn't tell his grandmother goodbye right before she died. Hopefully, this all ends someday," O'Neall said.
However, every dark night turns into a new day. Case numbers are going down, and O'Neall's ICU is running low on COVID 19 patients.
Suddenly she and her colleagues are getting the recognition they deserve.
"I've had people make me shirts. Our farm bureau agent made me a shirt that said 'I'm essential'... I think it said 'freaking essential,' but everybody just tells me thank you," O'Neall said.
Two words to describe what she does and who she is. Simply put, she's a nurse.