A self-described "adrenaline junkie," Daryl Keech, RN thrives
in the fast-paced environment of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Fremont
Medical Center, where he has worked for nearly 25 years, caring for critically
ill patients recovering from surgery, respiratory failure or cardiovascular disease.
"More than any other area of the hospital, the ICU allows me to work
closely with the physicians in determining the best treatment for our
patients," he explains. "Because of our common experience, the
physicians have learned to trust me, and I enjoy being able to help not
only our patients, but their families, as well."
Born at Rideout Memorial Hospital in Marysville and a lifelong resident
of the area, Daryl often knows his patients or their families. "Since
I have worked here for so many years, I've taken care of multiple
generations of families," he says. "It's not uncommon for
a patient to say, 'Oh! You've taken care of my parents!' That
personal connection is important to me."
Daryl's decision to become a registered nurse was something of a mid-life
career change. He worked in sales for several years, but in his mid-30s
he went back to school to study nursing. "While in nursing school,
I learned to embrace my poverty since I was no longer working in sales,"
he chuckles. "I never regretted the move, though, because I believe
nursing is a noble profession."
When he's not working, Daryl spends much of his time raising his large,
"blended" family. He and his wife, who have been married for
six years, have six children between them, ranging in age from 12 to 21.
"I try to keep up with their activities and accomplishments,"
he notes. "Plus, the 'Bank of Dad' is always open."
Daryl also enjoys gardening, tending to the landscaping on his one-acre
property in the foothills. "Gardening," he says, "reflects
the seasons and natural order of life, much like my job."
For the next season in his own life - eventual retirement - Daryl dreams
of moving to the mountains along the southern border of Colorado, near
his wife's home state of New Mexico. For now, though, he is simply
pleased to be named a Fremont-Rideout STAR Performer, joking, "And
it only took me 25 years to do it!"