Pat Hoyt

Celebrating 50 Years of Nursing

Speaking of her half century nursing career, Pat Hoyt said, "I'm afraid to quit. I might become a couch potato." While her retired friends might disagree and try to persuade Pat to slow down, her patients would support her decision to keep on working. According to her daughter-in-law Tina, Pat's patients adore being on the receiving end of her care giving. "I hear it all the time," Tina said, "Your mother-in-law is such a great nurse. She has marvelous bedside manners." In fact, Pat is the sole reason Tina decided to become a paramedic and is now enrolled in nursing school at Technical College of the Lowcountry.

Pat thoroughly enjoys her work and, to celebrate her devotion to the health care profession and 50 year milestone, a congratulatory luncheon was held at Hilton Head Hospital last month - even though Pat has no plans to retire any time soon. "I don't belong to any clubs and I don't play golf, so as long as I can work, I will," Pat declared.

Pat can't imagine what it would be like to not be a nurse. Growing up in the small town of Kingston, Ohio, Pat watched her neighbor leave her house dressed in her crisp, 1950s, white nurses' uniform, complete with stark white hose, shoes and the signature permanent no-starch, 100% cotton nurse's cap. Admittedly, it was her neighbor's attire that led Pat to the Mount Carmel School of Nursing, but it was her destiny to care for others. After receiving her degree in 1960, she happily began her career as a registered nurse in her hometown.

Upon graduation, Pat worked at Chillicothe Hospital in Columbus where she met her future husband and father of their three children, Dr. Charles Hoyt. Pat followed Charles to Cleveland where he set up an internal medicine practice and pursued further studies. She worked with him and also on the orthopedic floor in Mount Carmel Hospital. She left nursing for ten years only to raise children. Then in 1981, her husband had a heart attack and Pat went back to work full-time.

For the past ten years, Pat has lived in Bluffton with her son Jim, Tina and their family, which includes three of her grandchildren, ages eleven, nine and seven. "If I'm not working, I'm babysitting," Pat said. When she's in charge of playtime, "Gammie" likes to get the grandkids busy with word games or baking cookies. They, on the other hand, like to go shopping at Shelter Cover Mall.

The Hoyt household operates on a hectic schedule, which is purposefully coordinated every six weeks. The juggling of childcare and meals alternates between Pat, who still works 12-hour shifts, but never more than three days in a row, Jim, a police officer, and Tina, a paramedic and student, both having somewhat diverse and varied work schedules. Amazingly, each family member's commitments are effectively synchronized - a feat not easily accomplished considering the intricate juggling act that has to occur.

When Pat takes time for herself, she and her gal pals meet up for lunch the first Wednesday of every month. The women, who all work at Hilton Head Hospital, enjoy finding and trying out different restaurants. Pat's favorites include Red Fish, the newly renovated Skull Creek Boathouse, and the May River Grille in downtown Bluffton.

Although Pat may not remember some of her former patients' names, she does recall specific details with regard to their medical procedures and how each patient fared while under her care. That's because Pat Hoyt is a dearly loved specialist when it comes to helping and caring for the sick and injured. 

Up Close:

Children: Daughter Julie (42), sons Chris (40) and Jim (39)
Married: 28 years to her husband, Dr. Charles Hoyt (now deceased)
Moved here: In 1988
Grandma name: Gammie
Off-duty pleasure: Reading and eating out
Presently reading: Stieg Larsen's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo