Nursing | St. Louis Public Radio


Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Cindy Lefton has worked as a registered nurse for 37 years. For her, the job requires attention to not only patients’ physical needs, but to their loved ones, helping them know they're in good hands.

Lefton did just that for Dana Nichols Scott when Scott’s younger brother was in the emergency room in 2001. Scott said that even though she knew her brother wouldn’t make it, Lefton helped her family feel at peace.

“Cindy was so awesome. She was caring and made me and my family feel so good at the time,” Scott said. “Even when I think of that time now, during troubled times, I feel at peace because there are people like Cindy around to help people.”

From left, Natalie Murphy and Gabrielle Bahr joined Monday's show.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Gabrielle Bahr remembers being fascinated by the medical field even as a young child. And her family’s experience a handful of years later, when her younger sister spent a few months in a neonatal intensive care unit and she interacted closely with the nurses there, solidified Bahr’s choice of career: She knew then and there it would become her passion.

Now a staff nurse in the emergency department of Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Bahr has zero regrets about her job path despite its inherent stresses and difficulties. At the end of each long shift, she knows her work is meaningful. But sometimes she heads home feeling even more exhausted than usual. That’s because her nursing team, like so many in Missouri, is chronically short staffed.