Karen Becraft

Karen Becraft

Karen Becraft, RN

Surgical Intensive Care Unit
Holy Cross Hospital (MD)
Silver Springs, Maryland
United States

Karen Becraft beautifully contributes to the ongoing legacy of Holy Cross Hospital. The amazing trail of significant and impactful roles she has played and continues to play provide a glimpse into this amazing woman.
As a new graduate of Towson University, Karen began her career in 1977 at Holy Cross Hospital. Her desire had been Labor and Delivery; however, there were no positions available in L&D at the time. She was hired to work in IMC (Intermediate Care). After a season in IMC, Karen’s next adventure was to provide all acute in-house dialysis procedures, as there was no formal dialysis unit at the time. Her career then changed to Assistant Head Nurse for IMC. The wonders of motherhood beginning with her first born prompted Karen to work part-time for several years in IMC.
By the late 1990’s, Karen occupied the role of Assistant Nurse Manager for ICU (Intensive Care Unit). Patient Placement Coordinator with Bed Management then provided her next area of contribution to Holy Cross Hospital. All the while, Karen continued to work extra shifts in bedside nursing in SICU (Surgical Intensive Care Unit). In approximately 2008, Karen joined SICU as a full-time nurse. One year or so into this new venture, Karen’s role developed into RN-in-charge, where she currently spends the majority of her working hours.
But alas, Karen is always dabbling into other venues. She has functioned as a super-user for the Genesis and the Kronos systems. She continues to be a PRN Administrative Coordinator, Stroke Nurse Responder, BLS (Basic Life Support) Certified Instructor, and has just completed her ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) Certified Instructor training.
While each of these positions have been filled with excellence, Karen’s impact on fellow staff of Holy Cross Hospital has been extremely significant. To spur health providers to stretch themselves to a higher standard of care and personhood is refreshing and exponentially impacting.
Karen is not only an experienced leader but a servant leader as well. She listens attentively, problem solves quickly, and partners willingly. She is not afraid of rolling up her sleeves to come alongside the staff to help in whatever way possible. Salt-of-the-Earth common sense shows up on a daily basis in Karen’s interactions.
A natural teacher describes Karen well. She creates a safe environment for asking questions and for seeking out feedback. Humorously, she sometimes talks to herself aloud; if one eavesdrops, there is much to be learned. When instructing, she is clear, communicative, and concise. Karen unknowingly raises the bar for excellence by continuing to live as a curious and active learner, projecting vision for others.
It has been written, “Pleasant words prompt instruction.” Karen is an encourager. She is often heard complimenting a staff member for handling a dilemma well, exercising great critical thinking, or simply working diligently. That stimulates confidence in another. Her own approachability and teach ability are inspiring. When working with Karen, there is a sense of safety and community, as with a leader who “has your back.”
The fallout from Karen’s professional experience and impact on staff has profound impact on the patients and families at Holy Cross Hospital. Karen’s own body language, eye contact, and discerning listening convey a sense of safety, interest and care. She presents an available and approachable atmosphere to those who come and go through the doors of HCH. Challenges come with human interaction in the hospital setting; Karen has been observed meeting some very difficult challenges with grace and integrity.
Karen’s warm smile, sense of humor, and even dancing are bonuses. Karen’s loyalty to Holy Cross Hospital and to nursing is crystal clear. She is a true advocate for both. It is with wholehearted enthusiasm Karen receives the Holy Cross Hospital DAISY Award.