Linda Walker works in the Emergency Department at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center, which is shown in the picture above.

Caring for people in emergency situations has been a part of Linda Walker's life since she was a child growing up in Spotsylvania County.

Her mother was an emergency room nurse, and both of her parents were paramedics.

"Nursing has always been in my blood," Walker says.

Her healthcare career started about 15 years ago, when she volunteered as an emergency medical technician with the Spotsylvania Volunteer Rescue Squad.

She started working at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center when it opened in 2010 as a certified nursing assistant on the medical-surgery floor.

She then went to nursing school at Germanna Community College and worked as a registered nurse on the medical-surgery floor.

But she always knew she wanted to get into emergency care.

"As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be in the ER," she says.

Today, she is a team lead in the emergency room at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center, working night shifts.

She says her years of working as an EMT help her every day in her work. She draws on that experience as she must quickly assess patients' distress levels to determine what procedures they require, and how quickly they need to be administered.

"You have to be quick on your feet you have to think quickly," she says. "You have to be able to look at somebody and know what they need."

Years of doing this people-focused work have also taught her how important it is to maintain a comforting presence for her patients.

"Most people who come to the ER, it's the worst day of their life," Walker says. "I always try to keep in the back of my mind that even if to me, a patient's situation is less serious than what is going on in other rooms, to this person it is an emergency, and to this person it is important that we treat them with respect and the care."

Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center's commitment to patient care and safety helped it earn a Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade of A in fall 2018, meaning the hospital rates highly on the measures it takes to keep patients safe.

The hospital is also an Accredited Primary Stroke Center and a Certified Chest Pain Center accredited by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care.

As a life-long Spotsylvania resident and a graduate of Chancellor High School, Walker is proud of the fact that Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center has given people a choice about how to meet their healthcare needs without driving too far from home.

"There are more options for the community," she says. "It gives the community a sense of security knowing that."

She likes the family atmosphere that exists among the hospital staff, with people from different departments always asking how they can help their colleagues.

"Spotsy really is about the community," Walker says. "Most of the people who work here are from the area and they know a lot of the people. It really is a family environment."

Walker loves going to work, and she thinks most of her colleagues feel the same way. Her hope is that that joy translates into better outcomes for patients.

"When people come to our ER, I hope they see the smiling faces and I hope they get the care they expect," she says. "We are here and we want to take care of you. We want to make you feel better."