"We did a peer interview. The nursing staff selected three nurses. We had two doctors, Dr. Arnold and Dr. Kauffman, someone from respiratory, and someone from radiology," Richmond said. "After an hour-and-a-half we had a new director of nursing."
Annette Estes was chosen as the new director of nursing and she says she is excited to be in her new position.
Estes has been with the hospital since 1994 and most recently was in the position of charge nurse. "Charge nurse is the RN on the floor," she explained.
Now as head nurse, she said she hopes to make service improvements and streamline operations by changing policies. "We are going to update our policies and procedures," Estes said. Also, Estes will oversee both the nursing staff and the emergency room. Estes now has 48 hospital employees within her supervision.
Estes is no stranger to various positions at the hospital, she said. "I have worked in the ER, worked on the floor, worked in surgery a little bit, OBE where we deliver babies. I have done just a little bit of everything," Estes said. Other areas of experience included infection control, swing bed, and discharge planning, among others.
When asked her favorite aspect of working at the Fulton County Hospital, Estes answers without hesitation. "It's the people," she said.
"We are so family oriented. The people who work here love working here for those reasons. We take care of each other and even fill in for each other. Everyone just works so well as a team," Estes said.
Estes pointed out that the recent change in administration caused a positive ripple effect throughout the hospital. "So much has improved since Angie (Fulton County Administrator Angela Richmond) has been here. People are walking around smiling in their departments. They are walking around greeting people. People have commented and said they have noticed the difference," Estes said.
Estes has worked in Fulton County since she graduated with honors from Southwest Missouri State University and said she is proud to be a part of the Fulton County Hospital.