By Peter Vankevich
Elizabeth Dyer, Ocracoke’s the new, in-home care nurse with the Hyde County Health Department, is happy to join a tradition of state-sponsored nursing care on Ocracoke.
“There is a long tradition of nurses and midwives on Ocracoke and their stories are in many accounts of life on the island,” Dyer said. “At the Ocracoke Preservation Society museum there is some gear used by island nurses and a photo of one nurse who was also a midwife. In that picture she sits surrounded by children she helped into the world.”
Dyer, who began her duties in May, will provide skilled nursing care for people on the island needing help with wound care, help with medication and patient teaching. It also includes whatever they can’t do while recovering at home, such as household chores.
All of her home health patients are referred to Hyde County by healthcare providers or hospitals.
“There are many programs that are part of public health and I will have a chance to participate in other areas as I get trained,” she explained.
Hailing from Hillsborough, and a graduate of Duke University School of Nursing, Dyer most recently worked with the UNC-Chapel Hill student health services.
Prior to working in Chapel Hill, she worked in several other places.
“When we lived in New Zealand for six years I had a chance to work at the Whangarei Hospital,” she said. “That was a lot of fun.”
Dyer decided on her profession in high school, when she worked as an aide at Charity Hospital in New Orleans.
“The nurses there were so capable and helped so many people get well that I was inspired to go to nursing school,” she said.
She said she and her husband, Art Mines, a retired audiologist, have wanted to live full time on Ocracoke for a long time and she was happy to get a part-time position with Hyde County. Dyer also works part-time at Ocracoke Child Care.
“We are settling in to our wonderful little house and doing lots of projects around our shed and in the yard,” she said.
Those interested in services are asked to contact Hydeland Home Health at 252-926-4386, or Hyde Public Health at 252-926-4399.