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'A smile goes a long way': Retired nurse continues to bring joy - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

'A smile goes a long way': Retired nurse continues to bring joy to SLO hospital

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Making a hospital visit pleasant is no small task, but it's one Janette Jones wants to change for the patients who visit Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo. 

Janette knows all too well that a smile can make a world of difference. She's been lighting up the halls of the hospital for 45 years. 

"When I first started here, it was a little circle with three little spokes that came off. This three-story structure that we're in right now didn't exist at that time," said Jones.

Most of those years were spent as an emergency room nurse.

"I remember when she was still working here, we'd go into the emergency room and she was always, 'Hi, how are you? Thank you for being here!' We just love her," says Carol Caccese, the hospital's volunteer auxiliary president.

Just months after retirement in 2015, Janette took on a new role as one of the hospital's volunteers. You can find her there every Thursday.

"I wanted to give back," said Jones.

Janette's days look a little different than they did inside the ER, but that doesn't make the job any less important.

"Patients coming into the hospital are not always comfortable with this environment and I'm very comfortable in this environment because it's what I've known. It's easier to talk to patients, be empathetic and help them when they're in need," says Jones.

For now, Janette says there's not much that can keep her away from her volunteering duties.

"Maybe if I can't walk," Jones says with a laugh.

Organizers at the hospital say anyone is welcome to join Sierra Vista's volunteer crew. Those interested should visit the hospital's front desk.

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