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    Local nurse retires after supporting Soldiers, families for over 30 years

    Local nurse retires after supporting Soldiers, families for over 30 years

    Photo By Maria Christina Yager | Clarksville, Tennessee native Ms. Patty Vaughn, recently retired from federal service...... read more read more



    Story by Maria Christina Yager 

    Blanchfield Army Community Hospital

    FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – A Clarksville, Tennessee native who graduated from Austin Peay State University, recently retired from federal service after 30 years of serving Soldiers, retirees and family members at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital.

    Ms. Patty Vaughn, joined the federal service in 1988 and began work at BACH as a perioperative nurse, more commonly known as an operating room nurse in 1990 in BACH’s Department of Surgery, caring for Soldiers, retirees and family members.

    “When I first started, most of the surgeons were my age, maybe a year or two older. As they have rotated in and out, they are still the same age but I’m not,” Vaughn said with a chuckle, having mentored countless surgeons, nurses and staff over the past three decades. “Now I’m old enough to be most of their mothers and sometimes a little more as some of them like to remind me when we’re working late nights in the OR.”

    During her employment at BACH, Vaughn has demonstrated herself to be a true asset to the OR.

    “I’m thankful for the opportunity to have served here for 30 years, taking care of the best, most deserving patients in the world – our Soldiers and their families, both active duty and retired,” said Vaughn.

    As a perioperative nurse, Vaughn worked with patients prior to surgery, answering their questions and calming their fears. In the OR, she monitored the patient’s condition during their surgery and oversaw nursing care for their safety and comfort. The hospital’s current Department of Surgery Chief, Lt. Col. Danielle Holt shared that in addition to always looking out for the patient, Vaughn always looked out for her team too.

    “She is the nurse who has worked we me on the majority of cases since I’ve been here and she has always gone one step further to make sure that we had anticipated the needs of not only the patient, but the staff and the surgeon, to make sure our procedures go not only smoothly, but safely,” said Holt. “Patty is the nurse to always rise to the challenges that need to be done, leading the team, and we will really miss her.”

    Looking through a current electronic data base that tracks procedures since 2003 and calculating from previous systems, BACH’s Deputy to the Commander for Quality and Safety, Mr. Jim Nix estimated Vaughn assisted in more than 16,000 surgical procedures during her career at BACH, which spanned the Gulf War, operations in Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

    “That is a lot of lives touched,” said Nix.

    Nix first met Vaughn when he served on active duty as BACH’s perioperative services chief in 2005 and they worked together in the Department of Surgery.

    “At that time, Soldiers were returning from downrange with injuries and wounds and receiving priority care was so very important, just as it is today. It was so important for them to get healed, recovered and rejoin the fight.” said Nix. “She executed that mission flawlessly, day in and day out.

    In addition to patient care, Vaughn helped establish a single-use instrument reprocessing program that resulted in a total savings of more than $1 million over the past four years. In 2000, she worked to stand up the hospital’s bariatric program and has served as interim head nurse for the OR on two separate occasions.

    “Nursing is truly a calling. It’s a passion that you really need to embrace. Taking care of others, I won’t lie, it takes a lot from you physically, emotionally, mentally. It takes everything you have, but it gives you so much more in return. Those returns are what sustains you on the hard days and rejoices with you on the good days,” said Vaughn.

    More than 1,500 federal service employees work at BACH alongside their active duty Army counterparts. To learn more about job opportunities at BACH visit



    Date Taken: 07.09.2020
    Date Posted: 07.16.2020 15:47
    Story ID: 374045
    Location: FORT CAMPBELL, KY, US 
    Hometown: CLARKSVILLE, TN, US

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