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Category: Top Stories

A Nurse's Heart: Golda's Story

When Golda Ngwem, Nurse Practitioner at CaroMont Regional Medical Center, greets you, you can feel her warmth and kindness. A person of great resilience and unwavering compassion, she focuses her work on supporting the care and treatment of critically ill patients.  

Originally from Cameroon, Golda was just a child when she witnessed the death of a friend, a boy the same age as her brother. He became ill, but his family did not have access to medical care. After experiencing this tragedy firsthand, Golda dreamed of becoming a doctor and working to make real changes in the lives of others. 

But that path had its challenges and at the age of fifteen, her family brought her to the United States to begin high school in Maryland. She spoke no English, only French, and had to navigate life in a completely different environment than the one she knew. Despite the challenges, she remained fueled by a deep-rooted desire to make a difference. 

“It was very hard to be a teenager in a strange place,” Golda remembers. “But I knew it was important for me to continue to work hard and study and for the first time, I felt my dreams could become a reality. I still wanted to pursue medicine, so I learned the language, graduated and continued to college. I followed a biology-focused pre-med course of study and loved working in the laboratory. While I didn’t have many examples of women in science-related fields, I still knew healthcare was my future.” 

Just before graduation, Golda lost her father unexpectedly. As a young woman preparing to take the next step in her life and career, the event was devastating. But it was during this traumatic and tumultuous time she experienced the compassionate care of nurses firsthand. 

“Losing my father was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life,” said Golda. “It was then I felt and experienced the difference nursing care can make. I remember his nurses as absolute angels: they looked after him with diligence and compassion and extended that grace and support to us. I had never experienced the nursing profession so personally and knew then it was where I belonged.” 

With her new focus, Golda pursued a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP), earning her degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner. For the past seven years, she has been an integral part of the critical care unit at CaroMont Regional Medical Center, diligently caring for her patients. Golda's approach to nursing goes beyond medical expertise; she believes in the power of connection and support during challenging times. Drawing from her own experiences, she understands the profound impact that compassionate care can have on patients and their families. 

“Critical care is a challenging specialty,” said Golda. “I knew that was the kind of work I wanted to practice. Our patients and their families are facing some of the hardest days of their lives and we have very difficult conversations every day. But I feel privileged to be with them, working to heal and comfort them. My greatest hope is that they know how hard we fight for them, every step of the way.” 

Golda still remembers breaking the news to her mother that she no longer wanted to be a doctor. But despite initial concerns about deviating from her dream, Golda has found fulfillment and purpose as a DNP-FNP. She feels her degree means she is equipped with the best advanced clinical skills of a healer and the heart of a caregiver. 

Learn more about critical care medicine and the recently completed South Tower at CaroMont Regional Medical Center in Gastonia: click here.