Building Character

Thanks to a stint in the military, Deanne Porchowsky changed her career path. Thanks to incredible co-workers at Walla Walla General Hospital (WWGH), she transformed her whole life.

While working as a network administrator in the Air Force, Deanne says, "I saw how much everyone around me loved their jobs. Since I didn't, I realized computers weren't for me."

After soul-searching and some time back in school, Deanne became a registered nurse.

"I was born and raised Catholic," she says. "I was born at St. Mary's Hospital [in Walla Walla]; I never thought I'd work at WWGH."

But thanks to a fortuitous job opening and the prodding of a friend, Deanne applied to work in the surgery department at WWGH, an Adventist Health hospital in Walla Walla, Washington.

As a circulating nurse, Deanne preps patients for surgery, assists in the operating room and cares for patients in recovery. "It was a challenge because the OR is such a specialized area. It was a new learning experience for me, but the people I worked with really embraced and welcomed me. They were so warm; it really felt like home."

These same co-workers—anesthesiologist Alison Field, M.D., scrub nurse Cindy Moore, R.N., and same-day surgery coordinator Judy Davidson-Fetroe, R.N.—also welcomed Deanne into another home, the house of God.

After growing up in the Catholic Church, Deanne said she was pretty amazed by Seventh-day Adventist worship services.

"Catholic services are very solemn, quiet and repetitive," Deanne says. "Going to an Adventist church, where people were talking and the music was loud and the people were singing—I couldn't believe all of it was happening inside of a church!"

"I enjoyed my first sermon there very much," she adds. "It touched my heart, and I wanted to go back."

Deanne also enjoys Sabbath School, calling it fun and enlightening. "It brings the fun back into faith!"

Another co-worker and friend, operating room nurse Nikki Flemmer, R.N., suggested that Deanne meet with the University Church senior pastor, Karl Haffner.

"It was in Karl's Bible studies that I was introduced to new information and was truly inspired by the word of God," reflects Deanne. WWGH anesthesiologist, Dr. Lary Hawkins, was also instrumental in Deanne's journey by giving her access to videos by Doug Batchelor.

After a year of attending church, Deanne decided to be baptized, and on March 17, 2007, Pastor Karl Haffner performed the service at the University Church in College Place, Washington.

"It was a happy day," Deanne says.

And that happiness continues to shine through in her work.

"I think the faith we have and the joy and spirit in our hearts really flows out to the people around us," she says. "In my department, patients are going through difficult times in their lives. Being strong and confident can give them strength and peace of mind."

October 01, 2007 / Feature