Gayle Breon graduated from Kershaw County Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in 1961 and started her career at KershawHealth in OB and Nursery.
She left in 1964 to go to Key West, Florida where she worked Med/Surg/Peds until 1967. She returned to Kershaw County Medical Center on Jan. 15, 1968 on the surgical unit as a staff nurse, then charge nurse, then the unit manager. Gayle’s reputation on the surgical unit consistently remained one of professionalism, high quality, dedication, commitment, and compassion.
During Gayle’s time at Kershaw she has served under Mr. Watson, Lynwood Young, Denis Lofe, Donnie Weeks, and Terry Gunn as CEO. On the nursing side, she has served under Roberta Campbell, Betty Poole, Susan Outen, Gloria Keeffe, and Stacy Collier, CNO.
Some interesting recollections that Gayle shared about her nursing career here include:
  • The doctors all wore suits to work in the 60’s and 70’s and Dr. Russell Brant shocked her the day he came in wearing a t-shirt!
  • Nurses were taught to stand when a physician came to the desk, to allow physicians to enter the elevators first, and to give the physicians the chairs – of course, all this was before the feminist movement.
  • Smoking was allowed on the floors, but of course, nurses could not be seen smoking by the patients.
  • Staffing for 22 patients was one RN, one LPN, and one CNA on the night shift.
  • Most all patients got a sleeping pill at bedtime. Nights were very quiet because promoting sleep was important!
  • Enemas were a standard of care before surgery. Dr. George West even ordered pre-op enemas for those having minor procedures such as breast biopsies.
  • Doctors would include nurses in the decision-making and they wore most anything to work.
  • The surgeons always expected the best nursing care and they would let us know when we did not meet those expectations!
Gayle, thank you for five decades of doing what you do best – caring for others with love, compassion, and skill. You have always been and continue to be an amazing nurse and an incredible inspiration.
KershawHealth and the patients that they serve have been so fortunate to have had you at their hospital for these years, and we continue to be grateful for the contributions that you still continue to make!
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