Twin V.A. nurses share career path and passion for serving veterans
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Jackson’s V.A. Medical Center is a workplace that includes many family members; among them are twin nurses. The Pearl natives wanted to be in the medical field and followed the same path in life — education, and careers.
Twins Cleola Taylor and Ceola Gilbert get double-takes when walking the halls of the V.A. hospital. Their maiden name is Dixon. Both have worked there for nearly 13 years and another 13 years prior at St. Dominic.
“I usually don’t tell people that I have a twin because that takes the fun out of it here,” said Taylor. “I wait, and eventually they see us either at lunch or in the hall together, and they stop in their tracks, and they say I didn’t know you had a twin.”
“We’ve actually had the opportunity to work together on the same floor before, but we were in different halls. She was on one side different hall, and I was on another,” said Gilbert.
Cleola is five minutes older. Both graduated from Hinds Community College and UMMC with Master’s Degrees from William Carey. They each have two daughters.
“My youngest and her oldest are eight months apart,” said Taylor. “So we were pregnant at the same time, but we didn’t realize it, but of course until later on.”
The 57-year-olds don’t think they look alike but share a passion for serving veterans. Ceola Gilbert is a utilization manager overseeing patient charts. Her husband is deceased and was in the military.
“They are the ultimate reason that we are here,” said Gilbert. “I know we get a paycheck here, but at the end of the day, you want to know that you’ve done something — confident in that you’ve helped someone.”
Cleola Taylor, a charge nurse in ambulatory surgery, worked the COVID unit.
“I took an oath as a nurse that I was gonna take care of my patients no matter what, and I go home with a clear conscience,” said Taylor. “That’s what I agreed to do, and I’ve been doing it for many years, and I wasn’t going to turn back because of COVID.”
Their nursing careers span 37 years.
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