TROY (FirstHealth) – Although she acknowledges her selection as the Sandhills Emergency Physicians Nurse of the Year as “awesome,” a modest Zona Maness, R.N., is quick to share the recognition with others.
“It’s a team effort,” Maness says. “I think we’re all a team, the great doctors and nurses I work with here at FirstHealth Montgomery.”
Maness has been a registered nurse in the Emergency Department at FirstHealth Montgomery Memorial Hospital for almost 10 years. The Nurse of the Year is chosen from among all of the emergency department nurses in the four FirstHealth hospitals staffed by the Sandhills Emergency Physicians specialty practice – FirstHealth Moore Regional in Pinehurst, FirstHealth Richmond Memorial in Rockingham and Moore Regional-Hoke Campus in Raeford in addition to Montgomery Memorial.
“I am extremely proud of Zona for being named the 2016 Nurse of the Year by Sandhills Emergency Physicians,” says Pamela Gaddy, R.N., chief nursing officer and director of Patient Services at Montgomery Memorial Hospital. “She works so hard to care for our patients, and she is a great team player. She is very deserving of this award.”
A FirstHealth employee since June 1998, when she was hired as an emergency medical technician to drive a Moore Regional Critical Care ambulance, Maness spent nine years as a paramedic with FirstHealth Regional EMS in Montgomery, Hoke and Chatham counties before deciding on a nursing career.
She graduated from Winston-Salem State University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and also has an Associate in Applied Science degree (paramedic training) from Montgomery Community College.
Exposed to the emergency services field since she was a child, Maness comes from a family devoted to emergency care. Her mother was a part-time paramedic, and her sister, Donna Strong, is director of FirstHealth Regional EMS. Emergency department nursing seemed a logical career path from her EMS work.
“I always wanted to work in the ED,” Maness says. “I like it when we’re busy. I know that sounds crazy, but we see different types of patients and we see different things. I just love taking care of people.”
Scott Hollrah, M.D., medical director of Montgomery Memorial Emergency Department, believes Maness is a natural emergency department nurse.
“She’s able to take care of really sick patients without getting flustered, and she’s always pleasant to patients, staff and families,” he says. “She’s also willing to pick up extra shifts when we are shorthanded.”
A graduate of East Montgomery High, Maness lives in Biscoe. Away from the rigors of emergency department nursing, she enjoys working in her small garden and, most especially, spending time with her children: son Sean, daughter Holly and Holly’s 4-year-old son, Izac.
A self-described “worker, a doer,” she credits boyfriend Larry Gadd, an employee of FirstHealth Fleet Maintenance in Star, for helping her achieve her career goals.
“I wouldn’t have been able to go to school without his help,” she says.