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Nursing Alum is First Graduate

Trident Tech alum Robin Workman may not be on the front lines, but she is doing her very best to support those who are.

As the Heart and Vascular Surgery Coordinator at Trident Medical Center, Workman's patient volume is down. So in between checking on her patients, she is also checking in on her colleagues: lending a listening ear, letting them know how valuable they are and checking in on their personal situations and needs.

"They are on the front lines, showing up day after day for whatever task is necessary and needed," she says. "They are my heroes."

Workman could be considered a hero herself. She was a part of the very first class of the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program at Trident Technical College in 1983, and the pressure was on to do well.

“It started as a partnership with the University of South Carolina, and if we didn’t pass there was a chance the program at Trident Tech would not receive accreditation,” she says. "No accreditation meant no degree."

That was not an option for Workman and her classmates, who had all worked hard to get accepted into the program and needed it to succeed. There were no do-overs. Many of them were married and had children so they banded together to support one another.

“We were tight. It was all for one and one for all,” she says. “I think that is why we were successful.”
Workman with Dr. James Benner, Thoracic 
Surgeon and TTC Foundation Trustee
Workman remembers the day she found out she had passed her nursing licensure exams. She was sleeping off a night shift at the hospital when her husband woke her up and told her that an envelope had arrived.

“I was so tired and still half asleep. All I could say was ‘is it a large envelope or small envelope?’ before falling back asleep,” she says. “I already knew a small envelope meant you passed.”

Workman didn't always want to become a nurse. She knew she wanted to go to college, but not sure how she was going to get there. She would be the first in her family and her parents could not afford to send her.

She decided the best way was to join the military and receive funding through the GI Bill. She served four years in the Air Force before making the decision not to reenlist so that she could help take care of her mother, who was struggling with diabetes and heart disease.

After witnessing the excellent care her mother was receiving, she made the decision to enter nursing school.

"I paid close attention to the nurses who took care of her and they inspired me," she says.

After graduating, Workman went to work for Trident Medical Center. There she was part of another “first," as one of the original 12 nurses chosen to open the coronary care unit in the late ’80s. 

Her career took her in several different directions, as the careers of most nurses do. But she returned to Trident in 2001 in the role she continues in today.

Workman's daughters, Amy Richter (left) and Beth D'Amato (right)
are also nurses employed at Trident Medial Canter.
And although she continued her education, completing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Workman will always hold Trident Tech close to her heart.

“The most important degree I received was from Trident Tech,” she says with a smile.

Note: Photos were taken before the COVID-19 pandemic required more widespread use of face masks.

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