By TYLER MASK
Many are called to work for one reason or another. Whether one works to feed themselves and their families or wakes up each day fighting for a cause, every individual has a story. But out of every story, there are the lucky few who take on the daily grind because it's what they absolutely love. Palo Pinto General Hospital Heart Center Director Mundae McGettes, LVN, is one of these lucky few.
McGettes was born in Lawton, Okla. She grew up in California with her mother, but eventually headed to Palo Pinto County.
“I went from the fast paced lifestyle living out there to living out in the country in the middle of nowhere,” McGettes said. “And I love it.”
Her roots in Palo Pinto County trace back to a time before Possum Kingdom Lake. In fact, there is a funny story behind that.
“When they built the lake, they took a lot of my great grandfather's land by imminent domain,” McGettes said.
Nevertheless, her family stuck around PK, living on the island that formed on the lake – McGettes maiden name is Costello and her great-grandfather was Edd Costello.
“They actually lived on the island when the lake was first dammed up, but when it finally reached a certain point, they were tired of traveling back and forth by lake. My family doesn't actually own the island anymore. They sold it when I was young, and they purchased more property where I currently live.”
Her great-grandfather was also famous for naming the town of Pickwick, Texas, from a novel by Charles Dickens, “The Pickwick Papers.” Pickwick is sunken under PK Lake.
Her great grandfather isn't the only one who is a reader because McGettes is currently working towards her RN, which requires a lot of reading.
Going back to more history, McGettes' inspiration for joining the medical field has roots in her family as well. Her great-grandmother and grandmother were both nurses and her mother was a Radiologist and a Pharmacy Technician. Although fate would lead her into the field, she spent some time away from it.
“I was actually a cosmetologist,” McGettes said. “I did hair for about 10 or 15 years. I guess I tried to push away from medicine more so than embracing it. [But] at one point, I decided I wanted to try it.”
When McGettes moved back to Palo Pinto County, she started working as a nurse's aide and worked for two or three years before starting the LVN program at Weatherford.
“I think we had 75 in our class when we started, and I think there might be five of us that still do nursing,” McGettes said. “It's a high stress job. You really have to have a passion for it and a love for it and really care about what you're doing.”
McGettes takes her job very seriously. She believes passion, or a lack thereof, is noticeable by employees and patients alike.
Prior to her work in management, she spent several years learning the entire gamut of nursing. Off and on, McGettes has spent more than 20 years working for PPGH and has also served in the community working under doctors as well.
As a director, McGettes does a variety of tasks. However, beyond just her directing, she does not consider herself above anyone and regularly finds herself filling in for her employees.
Depending on the day, McGettes does anything from billing and going to manager's meetings to running stress tests and filling prescriptions – the list of all her activities would fill too much space.
Despite her heavy workload, McGettes couldn't see herself doing anything else.
“I plan on staying in this position forever,” McGettes said. “I love this job.”