DeKalb’s Ron Gilbert Goes the Extra Mile - or Three

“If you’re a true nurse, it’s something you live with 24 hours a day.”

Ron Gilbert

Dekalb Medical Hillandale

According to coworker Kim Bentley, Gilbert exemplifies what it means to be a nurse and has shown it on several occasions. When snow and ice pounded metro Atlanta last February, Gilbert trudged through the elements and walked three miles from his home to the hospital to be there for his patients and team members.

“We were very understaffed,” he recalled. “I told them I would be there, and I had an obligation to do that. I had people who were depending on me to be there.”

Another story involves a patient who came in for a battery of tests. Gilbert could sense the man was uncomfortable being there. A few tests were started before the patient checked himself out against medical advice.

Shortly thereafter the test results began rolling in, and Gilbert could see the patient was in serious danger. Unable to reach the patient by phone, Gilbert took it upon himself to clock out, drive to the patient’s home and speak to the man in person. It was there where he talked with both the patient and his family. Soon the man admitted himself into the hospital.

“It was just the right thing to do,” said Gilbert. “If that would ever happen to me, I would hope someone would do the same thing.”

On always being on the job:

“You don’t clock out. Even when you go home after your shift, your first one or two hours, you think about what you could have done better or how you would handle a certain case next time. If you see someone in the street in a car accident or whatever, you have the obligation to speak up and help. If you’re a true nurse, it’s something you live with 24 hours a day. It’s in your make up, and it’s in your blood. Anytime you have the opportunity to help someone or offer some advice, then that’s what you do. You always try to be that nurse, whether it’s on the job or off the job.”