Business

Nurses' Station outifts health care professionals, students

Jenna Houge (right), store manager, assists Rachel Reed of Cedar Rapids at the Nurse’s Station in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018. The store sells a variety of clothing, from compression socks to scrubs, for medical professionals. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Jenna Houge (right), store manager, assists Rachel Reed of Cedar Rapids at the Nurse’s Station in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018. The store sells a variety of clothing, from compression socks to scrubs, for medical professionals. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — Long an iconic image of the health care industry, the basic stethoscope has evolved.

Today’s more sophisticated models can run from $19.95 to $425 for a model with a built-in amplifier.

“It also has Bluetooth, and you can download an app that will enable you to hear all the acoustics,” said Jenna Houge, manager of the Nurses’ Station in Cedar Rapids.

Clothing for health care professionals have changed, too.

“When we started in 2000, it was still very generic,” store owner Kim Morris said. “They didn’t offer choices. The styles were very limited no matter what company you worked with.”

Morris had been a machinist for about 30 years when he and his wife, Betty Scheetz-Morris, bought the Nurses’ Station. Scheetz-Morris had operated the adjacent Fittings Unlimited, specializing in breast forms and bras for mastectomy patients, since 1990.

“I got laid off at Goss, I went to Cryovac, got laid off at Cryovac,” Morris recalled. “I was working at Goss and put the money up with other partners when we first established the business.

“Eventually the partners were bought out, and we owned it on our own before we purchased the Nurses’ Station.”

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The Nurses’ Station opened in 1986, “give or take,” said Morris. “We bought it in 2000 and took the wall down, and operate the two together.”

Houge, Morris’ daughter and Scheetz-Morris’ stepdaughter, joined the business in 2006. Scheetz-Morris died in 2007.

“I left Cornell College in ’06 and just decided to come and help out,” Houge said.”

The store has four full-time and two part-time employees, Houge said.

Nurses often are on their feet for most of their long shifts — 12 hours is typical. Which is why current work clothing is a long way from the traditional starched whites seen in 1960s TV medical dramas.

“They’ve become more fashionable, more form-fitting, more athletic, stretchy,” Houge said. “People are saying they’re much more comfortable.”

“That’s where compression hosiery comes in,” Morris said. “They’re educated enough that they want those on their legs, to control the swelling.”

Along with nearby clinics and hospitals, the store draws customers from Mount Mercy University’s nursing program and from clinics in smaller outlying towns. Regular customers come from Waterloo, Dubuque and Davenport, according to Morris.

The store also outfits physicians and emergency responders with lab coats and multi-pocketed cargo-style pants. Plus, it stocks accessories such as penlights, watches — needed to take blood-pressure readings — blood-pressure cuffs, and the aforementioned stethoscopes.

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l Know a business in operation for more than a year that could make for an interesting “My Biz”? Email us at michaelchevy.castranova@thegazette.com.

AT A GLANCE

l Owner: Kim Morris; manager Jenna Houge

l Business: The Nurses’ Station

l Address: 402 10th St SE, Cedar Rapids

l Phone: 319-364-6777

l Website: www.thenursesstationia.com

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