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Committed to Impact

JPS Health Network, JPS Gertrude Tarpley - Watauga Health Center, Ekta Shrestha

In a fast-paced career, it can be easy to become consumed by work. Often, professionals find their work customary. They fall into the cycle of routines, just going through the motions.

It is different for Ekta Shrestha, RN Team Lead. Shrestha is a registered nurse at JPS Gertrude Tarpley - Watauga Health Center. Here, she diligently cares for her patients, their families, and the rest of the Watauga team.

"She comes to work every day with a smile and an attitude of, ‘How can I help our patients?’ Watauga wouldn't be successful as a clinic without her," said Camille Taylor, Practice Manager.

With such praise, it's hard to believe that Shrestha was not always on a clinical path. Initially, she had goals to pursue a career in media affairs. With a degree in history, her post-baccalaureate life began with a media company in Dallas.

While her work here was purposeful, she wanted more.

"When I was doing communication media, I knew I was serving the greater purpose, but I felt like I needed to be in a career where I could see the work I was doing," Shrestha said.

"JPS is just special. Knowing that the network cares to make a difference in the community, I knew I would be helping people that needed help the most."

In search of a more tactile way to serve her surroundings, Shrestha transitioned to an army-based career. She gained experience in public affairs, writing articles and newsletters for the army. However, Shrestha soon faced a career-altering experience.

"While I was in the army, I had a major surgery. That's when I discovered healthcare and nursing. No one in my family is in healthcare, so I'm the first person to take on this position. When I had the surgery, I was in and out of doctor's appointments. These appointments allowed me to see what nurses and doctors do. It just drew me in because I sought to serve," Shrestha said.

This is when her healthcare journey began. Shrestha was on a mission to obtain her bachelor's degree in nursing so that she could enter the world of direct care. In time, she graduated from Marshall University. She began her nursing career in West Virginia but later moved to Texas to be around family.

This move was the start of her career with JPS.

"JPS is just special. Knowing that the network cares to make a difference in the community, I knew I would be helping people that needed help the most," said Shrestha.

Without realizing it, Shrestha’s efforts would become a significant part of that difference. During long hours caring for patients and their families, her compassion does not waver.

Nursing is an endless cycle of providing the community with resources and care. Seeing patients daily, sometimes multiple times a week, poses a rigorous workload. But, for Shrestha, that workload is virtuous.

Shrestha has made a commitment to providing the highest quality of care to her patients as if they were her own family. She recognizes that no matter how busy she is, these patients trust her to care for them.

Through trust, Shrestha is inspired to build connections with her patients. She is determined to help her patients feel like they are individuals who matter, not just another number.

In a tireless profession, Shrestha makes sure to celebrate her team, impact her community, and empower the people around her.

During Nurses' Week, we celebrate the individuals who dedicate their professional lives to being a part of something bigger than themselves.

"We humbly share this great passion and desire to help people every day. So just being able to celebrate each other and what we do gives us time to reflect on our accomplishments," said Shrestha.

Shrestha is a prime example of making a difference in healthcare.

"I had always hoped to find a profession that allowed me to aid other people constantly,” said Shrestha. “It's truly fulfilling to play a part in the betterment of other people."