MercyOne nurse says best part of job is helping people

Published 9:00 pm Tuesday, May 3, 2022

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It’s a tough but rewarding profession. 

That’s how Rebecca Richter, a licensed practical nurse at MercyOne Albert Lea Family Medicine & Specialty Clinic, describes her job after years in the nursing industry. 

Richter said she started her nursing career at the nursing home in Osage and then worked at a nursing home in Lake Mills, before applying for a job at the Mason City Clinic. She said she worked in urology for a few years with the specialty doctors there, until she got sick of the drive and then applied for a job in Forest City. She also worked in Lake Mills through the health care organization until she was asked if she could help out in Albert Lea when the Mason City Clinic operated inside the Northbridge Mall. 

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She said she ended up liking it and stayed on, and started working full time at the new MercyOne facility at the mall last July. 

She said originally she was going to school for a medical assistant program before she decided to switch to the LPN program. She obtained her degree from NIACC.

“A lot of it was just the helping people, making them feel better and taking care of them,” Richter said of why she wanted to be a nurse. 

Richter presently is a nurse for David Heine, one of the family practice doctors at the clinic, and has duties such as doing patient intakes, taking vitals, answering messages from patients and getting an idea of what the patient plans to talk with the doctor about so they have all of the information they need for the visit to run as smoothly as it can. She also helps with duties such as vaccinations and assists other providers when she is able to. 

“Connecting with patients is huge,” she said of what she enjoys about her job. “There’s always the ones that stick with you — when you can help them out and make them feel better, it makes your day go a little bit better, too.” 

She said the clinic has six nurses presently and they are always looking for more staff. People can apply online on the Mercy website. 

Richter is married to her husband, James, and has two children, Xander and Shyla, and one stepson, Aidan.

She said when she is not at work she enjoys gardening and cuddling with her two dogs.