Ivory Richardson never imagined himself as an OR nurse, but in just a few months,he’ll be completing his 10th year at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill, Virginia. Forget what you thought you knew about the way nursing should look because Ivory has been breaking the mold since day one. A member of the Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe, one of the largest Native American Indian tribes in North Carolina, he was born and raised in Hollister, NC. Although his community was severely impoverished, Ivory was determined to succeed.
Before pursuing nursing, Ivory worked in a volunteer for the fire department and full time as an EMS transport medic. After attending UNC Chapel Hill, Ivory made the decision to continue his education closer to home. His extensive EMT experience helped him get into the RN program at a local community college. He accepted a position at CMH in the ER, before eventually finding his home in the OR, where he fills multiple roles, both as a scrub and circulating nurse.
For Ivory, seeing patients out in the community and having them remember the good care that he gave them is incredibly rewarding. “I love taking care of patients,” he says.
He also values the flexibility that his career in nursing has given him, as well as his wife who also works at CMH as an X-ray sonographer and nuclear medicine technologist, a highly-specialized field in and of itself.
“The nursing profession has given both me and my wife incredible flexibility over the years,” says Ivory. “There are so many different fields and areas you can go into that you can truly find something that fits you and your needs.”
“One of the best parts about being an OR nurse is that the schedule is planned apart from emergency procedures, "We don’t work most weekends,” Ivory adds.
Ivory is aware that being a male nurse shatters a few stereotypes, but he doesn't let that interfere with the level of care that he provides his patients.