Angie Pigg is proof that those who can do also teach.
The registered nurse runs the intermediate care unit at St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart, and she teaches the next generation of health care workers how it’s done.
“I love sharing my knowledge and experience with others, whether it’s a classroom-type setting or just a conversation in the break room,” said Pigg, who was chosen a top nurse in the Region by peer review. “Sharing our experiences is how we all learn the nuances of nursing.”
For more than 20 years, Pigg has been a nurse at various stops in Northwest Indiana. She has worked in the IMCU at St. Mary Medical Center for the last five years.
Pigg received her LPN at Franciscan Health Crown Point, when it was known as St. Anthony Hospital. She felt blessed to be able to learn at the hospital in her hometown.
“Crown Point is a great place to grow up,” she said. “When I went to work there and achieved my LPN, I felt very fortunate. It was and still is a great local hospital that stays in tune with the surrounding community.”
While earning her RN from ITT Technical Institute online, Pigg worked at Oak Grove Christian Retirement Village in DeMotte.
“Working with the elderly in a setting like Oak Grove provided me with a unique perspective,” she said. “Some of the clients are healthy and independent while others need quite a lot of assistance. You have to be a very flexible and compassionate nurse so that your impact is positive.”
Compassion is one thing Pigg isn’t short on. She’s had the ability to empathize with others all her life. “I knew early on that I wanted to help others,” she said. “There’s no feeling like it.”
While working at Oak Grove, she began to teach clinicals to certified nursing assistant staff onsite. “I love teaching others, helping them achieve their goals the way my teachers did for me,” she said. “Sharing what we learn is so important, both in and out of the classroom setting.”
“Angie is an amazing nurse,” teammate Kelly Brajacki said. “During the five years we have worked together in the IMCU, I’ve witnessed her compassion for patients daily. Her empathy is evident from the moment she meets a patient until she helps get better and go back home.”
An intermediate care unit handles patients who need more medical care than a regular hospital ward, but not as much as an intensive care unit. Pigg enjoys the challenge while raising the awareness of the ward patients' needs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a new awareness to Pigg and other nurses at St. Mary Medical Center, who rotate into the isolation unit to help treat patients.
“I feel for the patients and their families,” Pigg said. “At the same time, I worry about my health and the health of my family. At times like this you just have to be careful while you push through and remain focused on the work.”
Between the pandemic and the IMCU, Pigg sees just how fragile life is. It helps her to maintain perspective on family.
“Angie is very family-oriented,” said Michelle Hofferth, a family friend. “She works hard to balance her career with being a great wife and mother. She’s inspiring because she always has such a positive viewpoint.”
That balance includes completing her bachelor’s degree in nursing online later this year. Once that goal is checked off the list, Pigg plans on getting her master’s so she can teach nursing clinicals at a local college.
“I’ve learned how much I enjoy teaching,” she said. “I’ve acquired quite a lot of experience over the past 20 years, and I want to share that with future nurses. This is an amazing career, and I want those students to appreciate what a blessing it is to be involved in helping others.”