Kara Henderson was born and raised in Ellensburg but when she graduated from Ellensburg High in 2001, she was sure of two things: She wanted to get out of Ellensburg - and she wanted to become a nurse.
She was right about one of them.
“I was 17 when I graduated and so excited about leaving,” she says, laughing at the memory. As it turns out, Ellensburg owned more of her heart than she realized. Within months of enrolling at Shoreline Community College, “I was like, oh no, what was I thinking?'“ she says.
Nursing, on the other hand, proved the perfect fit she'd envisioned.
“I wanted to be a nurse since I was a freshman in high school,” says Henderson. “I'm social, a talker. I love people and I love making them feel better. I knew if I became a nurse I could work anywhere - and I've never met a nurse who says they regret being a nurse.”
There were stints in other communities working with orthopedic patients and as an emergency room nurse. “I loved the work, the nursing side,” she says of her time in ER. “But the schedule - nights, weekends, holidays - wasn't for me.” Three years ago, Henderson joined the staff of KVH Hospital’s surgical outpatient center.
Married and the mother of two children, Henderson says her three-day-a-week schedule helps her juggle family, marriage and career. From admitting patients for surgery to caring for them in recovery; from administering IV antibiotics to preparing patients for colonoscopies - it's a role she relishes in a hospital she is proud of.
“Since I'm local, I know many of my patients. I get to care for people I know and care about, people I see in the store or at coffee,” she says, her enthusiasm unmistakable and her upbeat attitude infectious. “I love that I work with great surgeons and a great staff and I get to do something different every day. I love Ellensburg and am so happy to be in this community.”