Name: Cherol Minton
Title: Registered Nurse (RN)
Tenure: Two Years
Hobbies: “I hang out with my kids. We have two horses, three dogs, and two cats. So I spend a lot of time doing things with my kids and our animals. We spend a lot of time outside.”
Bio: Many of us know what we want to do very early on in life; others don’t know until they’re actually doing it. For Cherol Minton, her current career path came seemingly out of nowhere, though it’s something that those closest to her knew she’d be a perfect fit for.
Minton is a Registered Nurse at Crook County Medical Services District and she has been since 2021. Before that, however, she was a school teacher and the last thing she ever wanted to be was a nurse.
“So, I have a convoluted career path,” Minton laughed. “I started off teaching high school chemistry in 2010. I taught high school for four years. I stopped teaching when I moved to Wyoming in 2014 and I worked for a variety of different companies, using my chemistry degree.”
Minton worked for a few different agencies during those years, until she had her first child in 2017. After spending a few days in the hospital during the labor process, Minton came out with a new son and a new career path.
“I walked out of the hospital with a two-day-old baby, and we were in the elevator and I’m holding this baby and I look at my husband and said ‘Sooo, I want to go to nursing school.’”
“My husband was not impressed, because he told me since we met that I should go to nursing school,” Minton shared. “His mom is a nurse. His brother’s a nurse. Both of his sisters-in-law are nurses. But I told him ‘Absolutely not.’ There was no way I was ever going to be a nurse. That sounded like a terrible, really boring job. And then I spent two-and-a-half days in a hospital watching nurses do a lot of really interesting things and I decided that I actually did want to do that.”
So, she did. She went to school, received her licenses, and went to work. And her first job, while she went to nursing school, was with Crook County Medical Services District.
“I actually started my healthcare career here,” she said. “I started as a CNA in long-term care in 2017.”
Minton worked at CCMSD for a while, but began working elsewhere once she received her LPN in 2019. Eventually, though, she returned to CCMSD as a Registered Nurse, working for the acute care unit and the ER. It’s a hard, tiring, thankless, big, beautiful job. But, as the saying goes, somebody has to do it. And Minton loves that she’s the one to do it. She loves the rush of the job. She loves that critical thinking aspect. But, more than anything, she loves the people.
“I really like working here and I think what drew me to CCMSD is that I like the small town feel,” she said. “I like that we get to know our patients. I like that your work family really does become just that. They become a support system for you. You know the people you work with, you know their families. And you’ve got each other’s backs. We’re such a small hospital, and we usually only have two nurses on at a time, so we take care of each other. It’s not ‘your patients’ and ‘my patients.’ It’s ‘our patients.’”
Because CCMSD is such a tight-knit medical team, the staff work quickly together and relationships are key. That goes for employees and for the patients.
“My favorite part of this job is that team of people that I work with,” Minton said. “We’ve got a lot of really phenomenal nurses and providers and, around here, everyone has to be a jack-of-all-trades. You have to be good-to-great at everything. You can’t just be good at one thing. And so that team that we have and that teamwork that we share; it’s powerful. And we have to have teamwork in order to be able to take care of our patients.”
It’s the patients, Minton said, that are the most important part of the job.
“As nurses and as providers, our patients matter to us a lot,” she stated. “We truly care about what happens to them. And if something bad happens, we tend to take it a little bit personally. But that’s what makes us stand out. It’s that personal feel. You’re not a number. When you come here, as a patient, you are one of ours. We’re not running you in and out the door because we’ve got a line of 50 other patients. We take the time to make sure that you receive the care you need.”
And that, more than anything else, is what Minton loves most about the job. It’s not the rush of adrenaline. It’s not the critical thinking. It’s not the challenge of thinking outside of the box. Well, it is. It’s all those things and more. But even more than all of that, Minton’s favorite part of the job – the reason she became a nurse and the reason she has stayed a nurse – is because she knows she’s a part of a team at Crook County Medical Services District that truly cares about the patients they serve. Everything else is extra. And all of it reminds her, every single day, that she made the right decision. And that she chose the right career.