HARLINGEN — After years and years of practice, she now gets to pass on what she knows.

“I’ve always wanted to be an instructor of some sort,” said Maureen Rattray, a nurse at Valley Baptist Medical Center who’s just joined the faculty of the licensed vocational nursing program.

Being a nurse has been the fulfillment of a dream that began in her native Jamaica. By the time she immigrated to Ottawa, Canada in 1984, she already had some schooling in biology and other sciences. In Canada, she was able to more fully pursue her education as a nurse. She moved to the Valley in 1995 to take a nursing job and she’s been here ever since.

“I’ve been with Valley Baptist since September 2013,” she said. “As head of the orthopedics department I was basically responsible for the running of the floor, making sure patients were well taken care of in terms of quality of care and patient experience.”

Why has she always been so passionate about the medical field?

“The medical field gives you the opportunity to provide care for another human being and I’m naturally very compassionate, very kind,” she said. “That’s my upbringing and the way I am.”

She definitely goes the extra mile in making people feel comfortable.

“In nursing I can bring out the best in someone even though they are ill,” she said. “I sing to the patients, I comb their hair, I put makeup on them, whatever it takes to make them look and feel better.”

Now she gets to pass on that sense of compassion to her students.

“My first lecture will be in July,” she said. “I’m excited about it. I have been on the floor with students in clinicals, so I’ve been there. I love the students. They bring out a part of me that I knew was there but I hadn’t brought it to life.”

MORE INFORMATION

WHO: Maureen Rattray

WHAT: Nursing instructor for the LVN program at Valley Baptist Medical Center

HOME OF ORIGIN: Jamaica

She’s been in the Valley since 1995

FAMILY: She and her husband Wesley have one son, Wahtyn

OTHER COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES: Board member of CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates)

Member of The Zonta Club of Brownsville made up of women who are recognized as leaders in their businesses and professions.