I have encountered many fine nurses in my 40-year career as an RN both as a floor nurse and within the ICU setting. Since January of 2015, I have had the privilege of working with Mary as a staff RN at Fox Hospital's Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit. I view Mary's abilities within that environment as nothing less than outstanding.
Mary displays a consistent and sincere compassion for all the clients involved in the cardiac rehabilitation program and the wellness program. Every day she brings to the program a level of energy and enthusiasm that is quite literally palpable - and that is absent on those days she is not present. There is no other way of saying it; the clients love her. She uses abundant humor, a soft sort of tough love and encouragement in moving the clients toward heart-healthy lifestyle changes.
She has an amazingly quick mind that demonstrates a significantly high level of knowledge regarding cardiac and pulmonary diseases, as well as behaviors that lead to healthier living. Even on the busiest days, she will find time to educate clients as they exercise.
Mary's critical thinking skills are very sharp. She is able to gather complex data (signs and symptoms as well as current medical regimes) and quickly and accurately establish an understanding of a given situation from which she draws an appropriate plan of action. Her implementation of that plan is swift and persistent. I have witnessed this ability in her multiple times and have, on occasion, been somewhat chagrined that my assessment skills at that moment were not as refined.
The personal interest Mary takes toward each client must be noted. She is able to remember every client by their full name, their diagnosis, their main cardiac medications and a great deal of other pertinent information, both medical and psychosocial. If a client has not shown up for a few days she will not hesitate to call them and learn the reason for the absence.
Mary is also quick to learn and assimilate new knowledge into her understanding of any given situation. She has asked me on several occasions to instruct her in complex cardiovascular and electrophysiological concepts. At every instance, she is able to fully grasp these concepts and to incorporate them into her considerable knowledge base.
Mary is aware of the strengths of her staff and those areas that need improvement. She has been able to gently but firmly instruct me regarding the many aspects of being a cardiac rehabilitation nurse and does not hesitate when she finds a teachable moment from which I might learn. Her tutelage has helped me navigate the path away from critical care nursing toward cardiac rehabilitation nursing with relative ease.
In conclusion, I have worked with many fine and caring nurses throughout my career. However, I would be hard-pressed to come up with a handful of nurses that rise to the caliber of Mary Hansen. The Fox Family has a true gem in Mary!