It was on September 1, 1981 that Hörður Högnason, then a 29-year-old nurse, got a permanent job at Fjörður Hospital in Ísafjörður, which was then run in the old hospital. Then he had been a substitute several times during school, but decided to hire himself for a short time. As often happens, he became pregnant and later succeeded his mother as director of nursing in an institution that has had at least five social security numbers. He has worked for the organization continuously since, except for a few months volunteering at a war surgical hospital in Thailand in 1983.

The diploma, signed by the principal of the nursing school on September 13, 1979, indicated that it was uncommon for men to practice nursing at the time; it is misspelled that she have done practical studies in various places and received excellent marks for it.

Hörður has always had enough to do. In addition to his duties as director of nursing—which over the years has included many roles that now fall to, for example, procurement manager, payroll officer, and department manager—he has been the organization's nurse anesthetist. As such, he has been more or less on guard throughout his tenure. Hörður always had a screwdriver on his desk because there is a lot to think about in a large organization. He has also been active in social life, voluntary work and municipal affairs.

Nýjungarni has always been rich in Herði, and he has been active in continuing his education, both in his work for the organization and as a Red Cross volunteer. Among the certificates in a thick resume is the heading "Nursing Management in an Era of Austerity" for a course he took in 1995. Clearly, that course has served him well for what followed.

Hörður was invited to a ceremony on December 4 and officially completed his duties at the end of the year. In his speech, CEO Gylfi Ólafsson said that Hörður was friendly, positive, sweet, kind and a man of peace. He would care deeply about the institution, its staff and clients. He had always been looked up to, it was easy to approach him and colleagues agreed that he was a good teacher. Through shocks and upheavals inside and outside the organization, Hörður was a pillar that could be relied on.

Hörður said in his farewell speech that the time has passed quickly and that the work has been fun, challenging and rewarding; the workplace is good and the colleagues are excellent. He said that the future of the institution is bright, and wished his successors good luck; Hildur Elísabet Pétursdóttir succeeded Herði as manager of nursing and Sara Guðmundsdóttir as nurse anesthetist.

Hörður in the cafeteria of the old hospital in August 1984 (judging from the back page of DV). The new hospital was built there, but the operations did not fully move until 1989.

You had to go out with a body down to the morgue, as Hörður (with the beard) does here.

Hörður in his office in autumn 2019

Author: GÓ