NURSES’ WEEK: Ellis swapped education for nursing

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Amy Ellis serves as the director of office operations for both the Andalusia and Greenville offices of SouthernCare Hospice.

Nursing wasn’t Ellis’s first choice when she went to Troy University, but it quickly became obvious it was where she needed to be.

“I was in early childhood education,” she said. “I started teaching classes. I sat there thinking, ‘This is not what I want.’ My sister was a nurse. It was early enough in the quarter – and I’m really dating myself saying quarter – that I dropped my teaching classes and started taking classes to get into nursing.”

She earned her nursing degree in 1995.

“When I first started nursing, I was on a busy med surg floor,” she said. “On that floor there was pediatrics, geriatrics and every surgery you can think of. I’ve done dialysis. I’ve done home health and worked at a small rural hospital.”

For eight years of her career, Ellis has been a hospice nurse.

“Hospice is the most rewarding thing,” she said. “People ask me if it’s sad or how I can work this job. Yes, you will cry. We are in their homes and it’s hard not to get attached, but it’s important in helping take care of the patient and the family.”

Ellis said that when babies are born the process is very individual to the baby.

“The dying process is that way, too,” she said. “To know you helped someone have a peaceful paying is wonderful and to help provide a strong support system.”