After a remarkable 45 years of service, Karin Manteuffel, a nurse in the Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit at Portage Hospital has announced her retirement.
During her length of service, Manteuffel has seen many changes at Porter. “Back then you either became a nurse, a teacher or a secretary,” she shared. “I didn’t like to cook so I went into nursing. Plus I come from a family of nurses – my mother was a nurse, as well as my sisters.” Manteuffel started at Porter on Oct. 28, 1968, in the medical unit. “When I first started, there were two nurses who had bachelor’s degrees, including myself, and the director of nursing had her master’s. Every other nurse went through hospital training programs.”
Manteuffel remained in the medical unit until the 4 East unit opened Sept. 9 of the following year, a unit for isolation patients and those recovering from abdominal surgeries. She served in that department as a charge nurse until five years ago, when she transferred to the rehabilitation unit at the Portage campus.
“I wanted to do bedside nursing,” Manteuffel said. “The rehab unit is a great place to do that type of nursing. These patients are with you for 10 to 12 days, and you really get to know them and see their progress.”
Reflecting back on her career, Manteuffel credits her co-workers for her longevity. “Nurses share a friendship that is always there,” she said. “We have a bond that keeps us together, no matter what. It’s a second family – everyone pitches in and helps each other out.”
“I’m going to turn 69 next month,” she continued. “I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been able to work as long as I have. I probably would continue to work longer – my mind is willing but my body is saying it’s time to slow down.”
Manteuffel may be retiring from her current position, but that will not slow her down. “I’m not leaving people, I’m leaving the work,” she said. “I’ve put in an application to be a Porter volunteer, at the Portage campus, after I travel for a bit.”