Schultz retires from jail after 12 years as a nursePublished 9:31am Monday, June 4, 2012 Updated 8:20pm Monday, June 4, 2012
After working for Otter Tail County for 35 years, Cheri Schultz enjoyed her last day of work on Thursday.
“I have never not worked,” Schultz said. “I’ve enjoyed just about every area of nursing I have worked in.”
Schultz was the medical director at the Otter Tail County Jail facility for 12 years until she retired on Thursday.
Before moving to Fergus Falls in the early 1970s, Schultz received her registered nurse diploma in nursing from the Swedish Hospital School of Nursing and worked at hospitals in Brainerd and New Ulm.
When she came to Fergus Falls, there weren’t any nursing jobs available, so she did special duty nursing through Lake Region Hospital.
When an opportunity arose for Schultz to fill a maternity leave for a county nurse, she jumped on it. Soon after, Schultz was hired as a full time county nurse.
After working for the county for several years, she resigned to work as a discharge planner for Lake Region Hospital. Schultz worked for LRH for two years and then decided to go back to school.
She attended the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Alexandria.
After receiving her nurse practitioner certification, Schultz decided to go back to the Public Health Department and worked from a grant program.
“This was my favorite experience in the public health arena,” she said. “I would go out to small communities throughout Otter Tail County and set up satellite clinics to perform wellness screenings and exams for senior citizens.”
Schultz worked with the program for about five years before going to Minnesota State University Moorhead. After receiving her science degree in nursing, she went back to work for the county again. She worked as the assistant director of Otter Tail County public health department until 2000, when she started at the detention facility.
One thing that made this job different than other nursing jobs is that Schultz had to be certified in self defense and trained to use a Taser.
“What I enjoyed the most was the staff,” she said. “They’re a great group to work with, they are well educated and they’re always on top of the medical needs of the facility.”
Schultz says what she will miss the least is the 24-7 on-call duty.
“The thing I’ll miss the most is the staff’s sick, warped sense of humor,” she said.
Tonya Holt is a correction officer who worked with Schultz.
“Cheri is very kind and fun to work with,” Holt said. “We’re really going to miss her. She’s been here so long, I don’t know what we’re going to do without her.”
Schultz plans to spend her first summer of retirement relaxing at the lake. She has three grown daughters and five grandchildren who she hopes to see a lot of this summer.