Hospital Week Profile: Linda Edelman, RN

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Linda Edelman, RN

Hospital Week Profile: Linda Edelman, RN

There was never any question about her career goal: “I just always knew that I was going to be a nurse,” said Linda Edelman, RN.

“My mother was sick with cancer from the time I was 2,” Linda said. “She had home dialysis, and I used to have to set up her supplies and things before I would go to school. It was something I really needed to do for her.”

Linda was only 12 when her mother passed away, and the experience of caring for her clearly sparked her interest in nursing and caring for others.

This month, Linda will celebrate her 30th class reunion with her Jennie Edmundson Memorial Hospital classmates. After receiving her diploma in nursing, she worked in Omaha at two hospitals, and she completed her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 1991.

From Omaha, Linda and her husband, Kevin, moved to Harlan to be closer to family in her hometown of Audubon. After working in hospitals, the ER, and home health care, this was Linda’s first taste of working in Public Health.

“Public Health is really interesting because it has so many aspects and programs,” said Linda. “I always wanted to be able to connect people with the programs that are out there.”

For most of her career, Linda has worked in public health and home health care. In 1996, she made the move to Atlantic with her husband and two children, Taylor and Tiara, and began her career with Cass County Memorial Hospital.

Today, Linda coordinates six programs for Cass County Public Health, which is a department within Cass County Health System. Her programs include child health, maternal health, family planning, immunizations, lead poisoning, and disease surveillance. As part of Public Health, Linda also helps with emergency preparedness.

The best part of Linda’s role is being able to educate and help people. “It’s rewarding to see that you are helping people – that they are getting the right help and services that they need.”

A specific case of lead poisoning came to mind right away for Linda. She stresses that lead poisoning is still a very real risk for children today due to older housing and because of certain manufacturing jobs. (The lead can contaminate clothing at work, which is worn home where young children are exposed to it.)

“The damage from lead poisoning is permanent. You cannot reverse it,” said Linda. “There have been times that we’ve been able to work with the parents, educate them on where the lead was present and helped them understand the danger.” In this particular case, the family was able to move out of the house, and the child’s lead levels returned to normal.

As she relays this story, it’s easy to see how passionate Linda is about nursing and caring for others. A 30-year career has certainly become more than just a career – nursing is her calling.

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