Iris Bargar is a nurse at Randall Children’s Hospital, where she has worked for 56 years. “It’s a little melancholy because I love my job, but it’s time,” said Bargar. “I still had my health and felt I could still do the job. It was my place.”
“My family. I felt like I was doing something good for people, and I felt like that was my calling. It’s been a wonderful time. It has its ups and downs, but then so does life. It’s one of the most rewarding careers you can ever have in your life because you touch so many lives.”
To remember, she has retained many of the images and trophies she has earned over the years in scrapbooks. She estimates she has assisted over 50,000 mothers and many more infants throughout her work. According to her, a lot has changed in the intervening years.
“There is so much technology that has come up on the scene,” said Bargar. “When I came on board, we had no ultrasounds. We had no monitors. We had no NICUs. We couldn’t save babies even at 34 or 36 weeks.”
“But we have made advances to 23-weekers and doing research on 22. We have medicine that we can give babies now, and our NICUs are magnificent. Many miracles in our NICU, many I’ve seen myself. It’s a rewarded experience.”
They, too, had to endure trying times, such as the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.
“It was very daunting,” said Bargar. “We gowned up and geared up. There was a fear factor, like what was going to happen? Are we going to be ok? That was a time of encouraging people and letting them know that this was a thing we had to go through but that we would come out the other side. It brought us closer to the patients.”
“Families couldn’t be there, so there was a big void. That was difficult for them. There was a big bond with our patients because they looked to us for all of their needs. We were their go-to. We became their network.”
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She adds that the individuals she has met, from patients to colleagues, have been her favorite part of the job. “I just want them to know that I enjoyed taking care of them out there and getting them started in their new life with a baby,” Bargar added.
“I hope I’ve passed onI’vee good things to the people I worked with and given them a good feeling about what we are doing together. I tell all the students you’ve chosen a good place, you’ve chosen a good career, and it’s going to be very satisfying for I’ve. That’s my takeaway.”
Bargar will be leaving his position on April 30. She claims her next adventure will be relocating near her youngest son once she retires.
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