Jacksonville nurse retires after half century

JACKSONVILLE, Texas (KETK) – UT Health Jacksonville held a retirement party for a nurse that has dedicated 50 years to the facility on Wednesday.

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Debbie McCaslin began her career as a floor nurse at age 19 and worked her way up to director of quality and patient safety.

During her five decades at the hospital, McCaslin witnessed three name changes. First Nan Travis Memorial Hospital to East Texas Medical Center Jacksonville and now UT Health Jacksonville.

“I was a nurse working on the med surge and open unit back in the ’70s and ’80s,” McCaslin said. “In the ’90s I moved to the quality department and I’ve done quality control and risk management utilization review,” McCaslin said.

McCaslin said she remembers how far technology, women’s roles and patient care has come.

“The technology is a lot better. We started out with a pen and paper and now it’s all computer,” McCaslin said.

For half a century, McCaslin was dedicated to her patients and wore different hats. Her vast knowledge helped many up and coming nurses, in a field that can be nerve racking.

“Not only is she one of the smartest nurses that I know, but she is also what we call a nurses nurse,” UT Health Jacksonville CEO DeLeigh Haley, said. “She is there for everybody, she has the answers, she is who people go to whenever they need a question answered.”

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McCaslin has not only inspired her coworkers but people in her family.

“I just looked up to her and hung around with her all the time and that’s what I wanted to be forever,” Sany Hamilton, McCaslin’s niece, said.

McCaslin said she has a lot of mixed emotions, but she is excited that the next chapter has begun.

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