BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- "We didn't realize it at the time, but she was not only providing great healthcare for people while she was at work, she was also the best mom I could ever ask for."
Greg Petersen doesn't recall a time when his mom wasn't practicing as a registered nurse.
"When I was 16 we lost my dad, and she kind of went into both parenting roles but she was still a provider, still worked for us as hard as she could, picking up overtime shifts."
Jean Petersen's ER career spans 44 years and two hospitals. The last 22 of those were spent at The Medical Center at Bowling Green.
Her mother and sister were both nurses, and today she credits them with sparking her interest in the line of work at a young age.
"Even when I was a little kid, you know, I'd put band-aids on the dolls."
Years of 'self-training' and a lot of hard work later, Petersen found herself passing her knowledge down to the next generation.
"One of the doctors at The Medical Center, he was one of our techs."
After more than two decades, Petersen retired from her career on June 15.
"In all of those years, I learned something new just about every day. I mean, it wasn't like rocket science, but you know, I'd pick up a little new information."
As her son, Greg Petersen says he couldn't be more proud, recalling all the times people stopped him on the street just to pass along a 'thank you.'
"When friends tell me 'Hey, your mom took care of me, she was awesome,' or 'Hey, your mom saw that I was in the ER, recognized the name and came by and made sure we got good care,' that's what it's all about."
For serving people through her work as a registered nurse for 44 years, we honor Jean Petersen as our Hughes and Coleman Hometown Hero.