After decades in the department, JRMC’s Radiology manager, Diane Nelson, is leaving the darkroom. Nelson is set to retire this month. She leaves behind her legacy and legendary dedication to her job.

Nelson started as a radiology tech at Jamestown Hospital in 1972. And, advanced to the radiology manager position in 1990. Over the years Nelson has seen miscarriages, traumas, cancer and good diagnoses for her patients. She describes this as “years of holding back tears and being strong for patients.”

“Retirement will be bittersweet for me,” Nelson said. “For years I have not been able to turn off my job. And now, I will be able to. I know I will miss it.”

JRMC radiology tech, Greg Nordstrom, said Nelson had treated radiology like it was a family member. Nordstrom worked with Nelson for 23 years. He said Nelson was always willing to complete any task necessary for the good of the department.

“She is the most dedicated person I know. Over the years, I saw her make a lot of personal sacrifices,” Nordstrom said.

Nelson and Roger, her husband of 46 years, raised four boys while working full-time and taking call.

“I remember nights on call when I would have to get the boys out of bed. And, take them to the neighbor’s house. So, I could rush to the hospital and respond to a call,” Nelson said. “You did what you had to do. And, my neighbors were great about chipping in.”

Advances in technology

Throughout her 45 years, Nelson has seen huge life-changing technological advances in her field.

“Technology has evolved to the point where it is nothing like it was when I started,” Nelson said. “We have gone from using dark rooms, to having CT scans and 3D Mammography for patients.”

Nelson was persistent and passionate in embracing the new technology. Her persistence was instrumental in bringing state-of-the-art technology to JRMC. Because of this, JRMC was the first hospital in the state to offer 3D Mammography for patients.

Nelson’s hard work and dedication have built the radiology department into the successful department it is today.

“Diane’s dedication to her field and to JRMC has contributed to the success of this hospital. She will be greatly missed,” K.C. DeBoer, president & CEO, said.

Big moments

Looking back on her 45-year career, Nelson said she has enjoyed it. Being able to be the “eyes for all the departments in the building,” and being able to provide answers for physicians through clear radiology.

“It’s been a life-changing job and I know I will miss it,” Nelson said. “Most of what I did involved a life-changing situation for someone else.”

Nelson said she will slowly step into retirement. Spending time with her husband, children and grandkids. And, maybe even traveling.

“We have always wanted to go to Rome. And, now we will have the freedom to do that. So, I am going to embrace it,” Nelson said.

A retirement celebration is set for 1 p.m. Friday, Apr. 28 at JRMC’s Apple Basket Café. The public is welcome.