40-Year Licensed Practical Nurse & Monitor Tech Nora Duncan Wins 2019 Incredibles of HealthcareSeptember 18, 2019
Nora Duncan, a licensed practical nurse for more than 40 years, and now a monitor tech at HCA-affiliated Westside Regional Medical Center in Plantation, FL truly is an “Incredible of Healthcare”.
A co-worker who nominated Nora in 1199SEIU Florida’s Incredibles of Healthcare recognition campaign said, “Nora has great respect and compassion for patients and her colleagues. She is a devoted delegate and puts her soul into every problem that arrives, even without pay. She is a superhero to all of us.”
The Incredibles program – created by 1199SEIU Florida in conjunction with Hospital and Nursing Home Healthcare Worker Appreciation Month – invited members to recognize and nominate fellow workers who are “doing an incredible job at your hospital or nursing home; someone who goes above and beyond, has your back and always puts patients first; super heroes ready to save the day for Florida families.”
Nora and all nominees earned entry into a drawing for a fabulous gift bag including a FitBit Watch, $100 Cheesecake Factory restaurant gift card, movie tickets and an 1199SEIU schwag bag.
During a live broadcast on the 1199SEIU Facebook page, Nora’s name was pulled as the grand prize winner, but her co-workers and patients are the real lucky ones to have her skills, dedication and decades of experience on their side.
Nora first became an LPN in Augusta, Georgia in 1978. She moved to Florida and has worked at Westside since 1990.
Nora chose a career as a nurse because she saw it as a solid opportunity as a single mother. She certainly has made the most of it for her patients, co-workers, herself and family. Now married for 33 years, Nora has a daughter who is an accountant currently earning a master’s degree in business in Georgia, and her son has a career as an HVAC technician in Connecticut.
Nora has been part of 1199SEIU Florida since 2011 and has become an active delegate standing up for her co-workers’ rights.
“Working together as a union, we can speak up and not feel intimidated by management,” said Nora. “We’re committed to delivering the best care for patients and conditions for staff, and our voice is much stronger as one.”
Nora also has become very active in 1199SEIU’s political efforts to elect candidates who will best serve working people in Florida and across the nation. A priority for her is to defeat the Trump administration that “has no concern at all for anybody but themselves. Every day is a new story of how they take unfair advantage of regular people to help themselves and their rich friends.”
She’s “disappointed but not surprised” that HCA-affiliated hospitals did not follow through on the announcement to share with workers some of the $500 million windfall the company received from the Trump corporate tax breaks. She said extra benefits and pay would help workers and their patients very much, and the giant company is profitable enough to afford putting more money towards worker programs.
Nora has spent 40 years putting others first. As a nurse, she has cared for tens of thousands of patients, and saved lives “too many times to remember,” especially in emergency rooms and critical care units.
Nora’s inspiration and role model was her grandfather Doss Douglas, Jr. Born in 1897 and the grandson of slaves, Mr. Douglas traveled to France to fight for the allies and against tyranny in World War I. He returned to the still-segregated United States before 1920 fluent in French and determined to make a better life for his family. He did. Mr. Douglas bought and built his own home and family complex of almost 100 “country acres” in Georgia, and achieved a long, successful career in the timber industry. He passed away in his 80s.
When asked if she could spend a day with any current celebrity or figure throughout history, Nora chose her grandfather.
“He was a self-made success, and a man before his time,” Nora said. “He was the kind of person we all can admire and hope to live up to his example.”
As Nora’s 1199SEIU brothers and sisters attest, she has met the high standard her grandfather set, truly shining with her colleagues as a 2019 Incredible of Healthcare.