Homan Retires as Surgery Center RN
Coworkers of Barbara Homan (center) at North Mississippi Surgery Center hosted a retirement reception in her honor Oct. 5.
Barbara Homan, RN, of North Mississippi Surgery Center has retired with 36 years of service to North Mississippi Medical Center.
Growing up in a family of educators, Homan graduated from Houston High School in 1968 and became an education major at Mississippi University for Women in Columbus. She married her junior year, stayed home with their children for several years and briefly attended the University of Mississippi’s Tupelo branch. Several years later, she changed majors and earned an associate degree in nursing in 1984 from Itawamba Community College.
She joined NMMC that year as a registered nurse working with thoracic and vascular surgery patients. After a brief stint working at the new Women’s Hospital in 1986, she has spent the last 30-plus years working at the surgery center. As a pre-operative nurse, Homan’s job has been to prepare patients for surgery and often to do discharge teaching before they head home.
Over the years, Homan cared for a lot of children, many of whom had ear, nose and throat procedures. In 2012, she wrote a book titled “Tonsil Trouble” to help reduce the anxiety these children and their parents face. Published in both English and Spanish, the book details the story of a 6-year-old girl named Julie who is scared about having her tonsils removed. “Tonsil Trouble” chronicles Julie’s journey from the doctor’s office to pre-op, through the Surgery Center and ends with her reassuring a friend who is about to have his tonsils removed. For many years the Health Care Foundation of North Mississippi and CREATE Foundation furnished copies of “Tonsil Trouble” for children undergoing tonsillectomy at Surgery Center.
After 36 years, leaving NMMC is bittersweet for Homan, who hopes to continue to work a few hours a week as needed. “I love what I do,” Homan said. “It’s just a great team, and I always know that my patients are going to be taken care of.”
In addition to her coworkers, Homan will miss getting to know patients and their families. “Each nurse calls back her own patients. We know that they’re so nervous, and we’re one of the first people they see,” she said. “We try to put them at ease. If they have a question and we don’t know the answer, we’ll get back to them with an answer.”
Homan’s last day was Oct. 6, her 70th birthday. Retirement will allow her to spend more time with her husband, Farris “Doonie” Homan, with whom she will celebrate their golden anniversary on Dec. 6. They have two daughters—Tina Montz of Atlanta and Kelley Homan of Dorsey. The Homans are raising two of their grandchildren, 18-year-old Caleb Homan and 14-year-old McKenzie Wright. They look forward to more opportunities to watch 12-year-old grandson Matthew Montz play soccer in Atlanta.
Also in retirement, Homan plans to “get my recipes out and cook more” and she plans to write. The Homans live in Tupelo and attend Harrisburg Baptist Church.