From patient to practitioner, how a Forks nurse overcame adversity to inspire her community

The proud wife, mother of two and medical professional is proud to call Forks her home

Stephanie Bechtold knew at a young age that she wanted to be a nurse. After being hospitalized in her youth due to kidney reflux disease, the support she received from the health care team inspired her early on to pay their generosity forward.

Starting her journey after graduating from nursing school in 2010 from Peninsula College, Bechtold found her calling after moving for her first job at the Forks Community Hospital.

After working in the ER, she soon noticed a rise in patients relying on the emergency room for standard medical care due to a shortage of primary care providers in the area.

Recognizing that patients deserve more medical options, Bechtold went back to school at Washington State University for her Bachelor of Nursing, then ultimately completed her Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner certification at Gonzaga University in 2018.

But the journey hasn’t always been easy for the mother of two.

“It was really difficult at the time. I was pregnant through my master’s degree, and there was constantly a pull back to quit and go back to nursing. We were on one income the entire time I was in school, and that made my academic pursuits as equally stressful as they were rewarding,” Bechtold recalls.

With her success paired with the support of those she loves the most – her family – Bechtold highlights the importance of adversity, and through challenging times, makes it a priority to understand what led to her good fortune after a period of uncertainty.

Now five years into her practice, Bechtold is back at the Forks Community Hospital, helping save lives all while raising a loving family in a new community she calls home.

“When you work at a place that treats you well and encourages you to pursue your passions, you continue to come back each day with a smile and the drive needed to help save lives.”

The Forks Community Hospital is always looking for qualified clinical, administrative and support staff to join the team. Right now, medical and laboratory technologists, nurses, obstetrics and family practice specialists are especially needed. Stay up to date on current job openings by visiting jobs.forkshospital.org.

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