KLAMATH FALLS – The Southern Oregon Chapter of the Oregon Emergency Nurses Association on Monday named Aaron Arntz, BSN, RN, a long-time Sky Lakes Emergency Department nurse, its first-ever Emergency Nurse of the Year.

Arntz has been Charge Nurse in the department for 25 years and is a 12-year volunteer with the Operation Prom Night Injury Prevention program. He has experience as a flight nurse and is a volunteer firefighter and EMS provider for Klamath County Fire District No. 4.

His nomination was submitted by Sky Lakes physicians, nurse peers, and Fire District officials.

“Aaron’s years of experience and expertise are unsurpassed,” his Emergency Nurse of the Year nomination reads. “He is committed to providing professional, compassionate care while focusing best practice standards and positive patient outcomes.

“Aaron is recognized by his peers as a knowledge expert, mentor and leader who is always willing to educate and assist his co-workers.”

Sky Lakes Emergency Department Director Kacy Davis, RN, agreed. “Aaron is the guy you want by your side in the trenches.”

Stacey Holmes, RN, Trauma Program Manager at Sky Lakes, noted his reliability. “No matter what we have going on, he is always willing to be the first one available and the last one to leave any difficult situation.”

It is the responsibility of the Charge Nurse to oversee the department while maintaining a calm and efficient environment. “Aaron works well with other Sky Lakes departments and individuals within the organization as well as outside facilities and organizations,” the nomination reads. “His patients appreciate him for his professionalism, skill and outstanding bedside manner.”

Providers and staff in the Sky Lakes Emergency Department treat roughly 30,000 patients a year in the 27-bed unit.