Nurse of Excellence: Brittni Lemmel

Brittni Lemmel
RN, Monument Health Spearfish

Tell me about yourself.

I grew up on a ranch near Faith, one of five siblings. My grandma was a nurse and inspired me to follow in her footsteps. I have a Jack Russell terrier named Chloe and like to hike, run, go to the lake, and spend time with family and friends.

Why did you choose a career in nursing?

My grandma was a nurse and inspired me; by the time I was five or six I knew I wanted to follow in her footsteps. I always felt the need to help people and my community; it’s what I’ve always wanted to do in life.

How long have you been a nurse?

I graduated from nursing school in December 2013, so almost seven years! I started out doing pediatric home health, then worked in the orthopedic clinic at Monument Health for two years before moving on to family practice. I like the variety; we see everybody from infants to geriatric patients. Every day brings something new and you use different skills every day.

What is most rewarding about your job?

The feeling you get knowing you’re helping people and serving your community. Especially in a small town like Spearfish, you feel like you’re building a connection with patients and their families. I like getting to know people and doing what I can to help them.

What do you find most challenging?

One of the hardest things is when a difficult diagnosis comes up and you want to get the patient the best care you can. Being a small community and trying to coordinate care can be tough. A lot of times people have to travel outside of the state and incur expenses in order to get the help they need.

What skills make a nurse exceptional?

You need to have a lot of empathy and sympathy for people. You really want to be willing to help people and it has to come from your heart. Helping people is your greatest desire. 

What advice would you give others thinking about becoming a nurse?

It’s a lot of dedication; you really have to be passionate about it. Anybody interested in that career path should shadow somebody they know so they can ask questions. Go out into the field and follow them so you get a good idea of what it’s like to be a nurse. 

If you hadn’t gone into nursing, what do you think you’d be doing?

Everything I’ve ever thought about going into has been healthcare-related; I always knew that it was my calling. I considered ultrasound technology (I really love babies!), physical therapy, becoming a chiropractor, PA, or nurse practitioner.