Watson: Treat patients like family
By By LYDIA GRIMES – Features writer
Regina Watson never thought that she would be able to get where she is today. Being the Emergency Room Manager at D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital was not a lifelong ambition and she would never have guessed that she, one of nine children in her family, would have been able to accomplish what she has. She loves what she has found there at the hospital and manages the nurses of the emergency room with a great deal of love, compassion and understanding.
It is quite evident that Watson does indeed care about her nurses. There are 14 nurses and three secretaries working in her department. The nurses work 12-hour shifts and the secretaries work eight-hour shifts. Watson herself does not limit her hours although she does vary them. She is there when she is needed, even if it is at 3 a.m.
Watson was born in Brewton . Her father was employed at the old Keego Brick Yard at Keego and provided for his family as best he could.
She attended school at T.R. Miller High School and she describes herself as a ‘far from good student.'
She went to work at Dairy Queen when it was first opened and owned by Ray and Joann Baggett.
She had only a basic nurse's aid class in which she learned the basics she would need in her new job, but she found that she liked what she was doing. She decided to enroll at Reid State to become a Licensed Practical Nurse and graduated in 1982. During this time she continued her job at the hospital in the emergency room. She was still not quite satisfied and she wanted to be able to make a better salary, so she went back to Jefferson Davis to become a Registered Nurse and graduated in 1986.
Upon graduation she became the relief supervisor on the medical-surgery hall doing a variety of jobs.
Watson's drive to do better was still nagging her and she decided to go back to school to earn her bachelor's degree. She went back to Jefferson Davis, took some online courses, and finally earned her degree from Auburn University at Montgomery in 2005.
Through the years, Watson took hospital-promoted leadership courses while she was working and after receiving her bachelor's degree, she still has another goal.
Watson has another job that she is also very proud of. In September of 2005, she received her minister's license and became the associate minister at Second Saint Siloam Baptist Church with the church minister, Willie J. Blue.
She was first married in 1976 and has one son, Sammy Jackson Jr., from that marriage. She has been married to Joe Watson since 2000 and they are raising Joe's niece, Rosa, who is in kindergarten.
Watson says she loves to read, go to church and visit with family. She collects angels and music boxes and she and her husband own J &R Music and Church Supplies on Douglas Avenue.