Abby Martinez

Health Care Hero: ‘I have never been more proud to be a nurse’

The Dayton Daily News is profiling the people who work hard every day to save lives and take care of us. Nominate a Health Care Hero by emailing Rebecca.Mullins@coxinc.com.

Name: Abby Martinez

Hometown (where you live now): Urbana

Job title: Charge Nurse

Where do you work: Mercy Health-Springfield

COMPLETE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

Describe what your day is like/what you do: I start my day by creating the sheets that make me feel organized and by getting all of the extra things done, like the assignment board and orchestrator. Around 8-8:30 a.m., I round with the physicians on the floor and then with the primary nurse for each assignment and case management. I help facilitate discharges so they happen faster and arrange transport when needed. I help my fellow nurses with whatever tasks they need done — starting an IV, passing meds, changing someone, helping with baths. I help cover lunches and continue to facilitate admissions and discharges on the floor. Around 5 p.m., I start to wrap things up and get the night shift assignment completed and clean the unit back up.

Health Care Hero: ‘I became a nurse to make a difference’

What inspired you to get into health care? I have wanted to be a nurse since I was 10 years old. My baby brother had a traumatic brain injury and was in the hospital for several months. While there with him, I was so intrigued with the setting around me. All of the sounds and machines were so interesting. I came in contact with multiple nurses, several that looked like heroes to me but all in their own ways. They all had their own twist to what they did, not only for my brother, but for my family. There was something about nursing that seemed so amazing to me; the relationships created, the science, the love, the compassion, the numbers. It was all so incredible.

Health Care Hero: ‘I really love my job’

What’s a memorable experience you’ve had in health care? I had only worked at Springfield Regional Medical Center for a few months when I took care of a gentleman that had really pulled on my heartstrings. He and his wife had been together for 70 years and he was pretty sick. His wife had sat by his bed all day just holding his hand. They didn’t talk, they didn’t watch TV; they just sat and loved each other. He sent her home that evening to go to bed and the next morning when I got back to work, she hadn’t come back yet. His numbers weren’t looking great and he was declining pretty quickly. He was scared and had tears in his eyes. Once he was packed up and ready to transport to ICU, he grabbed my hand and just held it for a minute. We stopped. Time stood still in that moment and we prayed together. He told me that he wasn’t ready to die yet — he wasn’t done loving his wife, he wanted to see her smile yet. We prayed some more, and then he transferred to ICU. I called his wife to let her know about the transfer and how much he loved her. It was the sweetest thing I have ever witnessed between a couple.

What do you want readers to know about your job right now: There are many trials throughout every day that I work. No day ever comes and goes without some kind of situation to fix or “fire that needs put out.” I learn something new every day that I work, and the life in medicine is always evolving. Through everything that has happened with this pandemic, I have never been more proud to be a nurse. It is a part of my identity and what I always wanted. I have many awesome team members by my side and none of us would be successful if we didn’t have the help of our teammates!

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