Local Nurse Educator
As a nurse educator, Gail Roberts has worked all over NY, both as a nurse and a teacher. One constant in her life is that she’s always felt compelled to work in the mental health field. Seeing the many sides of mental health, from depression in both older adults and children to the physical toll that mental health can have on the body, she spreads those experiences to all who are willing to listen—especially to her nursing students—and knows there’s a great need for mental healthcare professionals in our area.
"I think everywhere you go there is a shortage of mental health necessities. My heart is in mental health. It’s overlooked. People don’t pay attention to the discipline."
She was working as a nurse for a prison in New York when her son passed away in a snowmobile accident. It was the hardest thing for a mother to go through. Although she was still grieving, she was given the chance to teach at Clinton Community College. She had to talk herself into it but once she did, she found solace in teaching; it helped to heal her. She knew she had found something great.
As part of her curriculum, she brings students to CVPH’s behavioral heath unit to work with patients. As a teaching hospital in conjunction with The UVM Medical Center, CVPH helps students get real-world experience. They’re able to see how the nurses get to know every aspect of a patient’s wellbeing—mentally as well as physically. This not only teaches Gail’s students, but inspires them.
“There hasn’t been a single moment that I’ve been on the unit that I didn’t feel the CVPH staff went above and beyond,” says Gail. “They take that extra step. I’ve seen nurses that will call for a taxi to pick up the patient at the door and deliver them straight to rehab unit. Things like that really impress me.”
“They care for each patient as a whole,” Gail says of our nurses at CVPH. “Taking care of someone in this field changes from day to day. There is no end diagnosis. It takes a special person to have this particular kindness with people. Students love going there. That’s not because of me. It’s because of the way the unit is run and the way the nurses do their job.”